LAS VEGAS--While CES has previously been a show filled with big announcements and brand new technologies, this year’s show was a little different, with more incremental advancements centered on refining devices people already own.
There are a lot of things emerging that just make existing products work better and smarter,” said analyst Jack Gold, though he noted those smaller improvements could still make a huge difference to consumer experience.
Perhaps the one big product announcement at CES 2012 was Intel’s reference design smartphone, and subsequent deal to distribute an Atom powered device in China, but whether consumers will be sold on mobile with Intel inside remains a discussion point.
“Intel can do a lot of fine tuning, they have a lot of software compiler expertise, so it will be interesting to see how well it runs,” said Gold, noting that people would take note if Android ran better on the Atom platform than it currently runs on ARM, adding, “there is a chance that will happen.”
Gold explained that responsiveness would be the real key, saying “If I can open a browser in one second instead of three seconds, people will notice that. If I can stream media at 30 FPS instead of 10 frames per second, people will notice that. If I can run applications that can open up in microseconds instead of two or three seconds, people will notice that.”
Turning the discussion to the buzz around Windows 8, Gold expressed excitement for a more “conglomerate experience” which would see the OS becoming more unified between phones, tablets and PCs.
As for Windows 8’s chances on ARM, however, Gold was not optimistic.
“Doomed is maybe too strong a word but I don’t think it’s going to be terribly successful,” he posited. Gold’s skepticism arises from the lack of backwards software compatibility on the platform and said the danger is that if the market doesn’t quickly take up Windows on ARM, Microsoft will stop spending resources on it, as has been the case with other platforms beforehand.
Meanwhile, Gold explained how graphics cores were becoming ever more critical going forward, be they on smartphones, tablets or PCs, with most browser tech today being GPU driven.
"If I can open a browser in one second instead of three seconds, people will notice that."
They will probably also notice that an Intel solution will need a bigger battery and/or give far shorter battery life.
I would be surprised if the price of WoA is any different from the price of Widows today. They may have some promotions to get it started, but I would think that they would keep the prices at the same level to let the market decide the direction.
Few days back I saw the news about the Asus tab roadmap in this article:
I think in this article I saw that Asus is planning to run Windows on ARM which they are going to release in 2012.
We will come to know how it performs soon :)
I don't think that for mobile devices backward compatibility is a life or death situation like it was for the PCs. For every piece of software out there there are 100 times that many software engineers and they need to have a job, so if Windows on ARM looks attractive there will be lot of man years available to make it a success. But others have said the pricing remains critical to give it that bump.
Office left x86 a long time ago. Later versions of Windows have had much cleaner APIs that have allowed or forced Office applications to get their act together and get properly abstracted. Already with Win2000, Office apps were communicating internally using sockets, and that process has continued.
The port to Apple computers had a similar hygienic effect on code cleanliness, and so retargeting Office for alien technology is not the monster it once was.
I had not seen anyone talk about the cost of Windows on ARM as of yet. Do we have any indication that WoA will be cheap or expensive? Given the price pressures and the low cost of ARM to begin with I would be curious how WoA will be positioned: low cost or not? If WoA lowers the cost of the platform AND (yes a big and) keep (or improve) the performance of the system then it will make some inroads.
I cannot say how many applications consumers are looking for in a PC. I am happy if I have Microsoft Office, or equivalent.
On the other hands, one of the main drivers in PC market is gaming. Consumers buy faster and better PC because of game. The effort game companies have to put in to build game for WoA would be another factor to affect the success of WoA, wouldn't it?