Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Windows & Chips, please

So Google and Intel have teamed up

The mighty Intel has not faired well in the world of smartphone and tablets and as the PC market dwindles at a rate of knots that no one could have predicted, Intel risked losing its mighty market position.

So after its long, long history of working closely with Microsoft, it has walked across the street to the new boys, Google, and signed a deal to work more closely with their Android operating system.

I shan't wheel out the figures again, but by 2014 Android will have the largest share of smartphone and tablet operating systems in a client market that is already changing dramatically away from the old-style PCs. 

In the face of that, this is a very shrewd move indeed.

Meanwhile, in a land far, far away Microsoft showed off its new Windows 8 ( operating system patronisingly designed for both the PC and tablet world as we all must live in that twilight zone, mustn't we children?

Not only has the new 'metro' version interface been designed for smaller devices but Microsoft have come up with a novel idea to buy through an 'App Store'. And, as the ink dries on the deal between Google and Intel as highlighted above, Windows 8 will be optimised to use with the low powered ARM chips (Hoorah for the UK).

Gartner's figures have tablets being 70m by the end of this year and 300m by the end of 2015 so it is time Microsoft got its act together in a tablet market it is currently predicted to only have 13% of by 2014.

Is the bet with ARM right? Is this too little, too late by Microsoft? Having used both Apple and Android, the array of software already on their App Stores is dazzling. When a Microsoft executive demo'd a Windows based phone to me back in May his prize App was some kind of cooking recipe thing. I was embarrassed.

It's a big step forward by Microsoft, to be sure. But they are so far behind and in the wake of Google and Apple in this market with partners facing lawsuits, it is hard to see how they will catch up.

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