AS MUCH AS Intel wants to get into tablets and smartphones it seem to be an uphill struggle for the company. The problem is that Intel is anything but the only manufacturer of chips that go into these types of devices. ARM and its partners have something of a lead here. As such it looks like Intel is going to have to come up with something extraordinary to convince partners to move away from ARM and onto its x86 platform for these types of devices.
Digitimes is reporting that the Taiwanese manufacturers are much more interested in building ARM based tablets that run Android than building x86 powered tablets with Windows on them. This doesn’t mean that we won’t see devices with Intel CPUs in them, just not as many as Intel is hoping for. The company is currently trying to drum up support for enough devices to be on display for IDF in September and it seems like most partners have agreed to supply engineering samples for the event.
Intel is readying its Oak Trail Atom platform which is meant to be 50 percent more power efficient than the current Pine Trail platform for things like full HD video playback, although quite how this is possible – as the Pine Trail platform can’t play back full HD video – we’re not quite sure. Still, if Intel can pull off MeeGo together with its partner Nokia, we might just see some renewed interest from tablet makers. The biggest problem isn’t likely to be Intel’s solution, despite some disadvantages compared to the latest generation of ARM processors, but rather their continued reliance on Windows.
Microsoft has as yet to prove that it’s capable of producing an OS that doesn’t require a mouse and keyboard to work well, Windows Mobile included. There are already rumours going around that Asus has decided not to launch its tablet with Windows 7 Embedded that the company displayed at Computex earlier this year, instead the company will launch the product with Android. On the other hand, Google has yet to prove that it can make Android work well on a tablet size device, as so far most tablets with Android have been somewhat underwhelming. Android doesn’t seem to scale well onto larger screen devices, but this is something that should change next year with Android 3.x which is set to support higher screen resolutions among other things.
Intel isn’t a company that calls it quits just because its partners don’t want to bring to market the kind of products Intel wants to bring out and if everything else fails, Intel tends to pay one or two companies to come up with a product or two. These have usually failed miserably; but not quite as bad as Microsoft’s attempt at doing the same. Does anyone out there still use a UMPC?S|A
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