SAN FRANCISCO—Renée James, senior vice president and general manager of Intel Corp.'s Software and Services Group, used her keynote address on the second day of the Intel Developer Forum here Wednesday (Sept. 12) to outline a high-level vision for "transparent computing" with emphasis on software compatibility across platforms, cloud infrastructure and security.
James stressed that the main thrust of the transparent computing concept is the ability for users to run the same applications on multiple devices running, for example, Windows, Android and iOS operating systems. She reinforced Intel's commitment to spurring adoption of HTML5 and ensuring that it remains an open standard language.
"Transparent computing is the core of how users view the experiences in compute today," James said. "It's about enabling what they want to do. They don't care about the operating system. And sadly, and as much as we would not like it to be true, they don't always care about the hardware architecture underlying their experience. What they care about is the task they're trying to perform, or the information that they're trying to get to."
Peter Biddle (left), general manager of cloud services at Intel, joins Renée James on stage at IDF to discuss key technology drivers for developers.
HTML5 is being used to create applications that can run on multiple platforms. James said the emerging capabilities of HTML5 are evolving to the point where developers are able to implement full media integration—including video, 3-D, audio and interactive capabilities into applications. She was assisted in showing a demo of an electronic text book that helps users learn Chinese through multi-media capabilities.
James acknowledged that HTML5 has its share of detractors and that the language has been over-hyped. But, after some early struggles, she said, Intel now believes that HTML5 is emerging as a credible solution for several of the technical challenges that we outlined around the vision for transparent computing.
"We believe it's a real solution for where users want to go, and where we believe users are going to demand that we go as an industry," James said. "We're committed to making sure that HTML5 remains open, cross-platform and has the right performance."
James, who is also chairman of McAfee, Intel's security software subsidiary, also announced a new McAfee anti-theft production designed to protect consumers' property and personal information on Ultrabook computers and unveiled a new program designed to support software developers and businesses called the Intel Developer Zone.
Among the goals of the Intel Developer Zone are to help developers market their products, James said. Her keynote included a video presentation focused on the difficulties software developers face with getting their products on the radar of potential users. She showed data indicating that 33 percent of all apps generate less than $500 per month and that 63 percent of all apps generate less than $5,000 per month.
"That's not enough for a healthy developer ecosystem, especially with all the opportunity in mobile software," James said.
James did not specifically reference solitaire. Assume that under this vision you will be able to play solitaire on multiple platforms securely and be able to stream results directly to the cloud for storage. :)
I think it's rather ironic that for many years, the browser as a platform has been moving closer to the write once, run anywhere goal, yet the platform specific "app" has suddenly taken the world by storm. It's a bit like stepping back to the pre-Internet days.
Maybe HTML 5 will get the software industry back on track, but with Windows 8, we now have an "App" trend on a PC platform. Certainly PC-based applications were platform specific before Windows 8, but more and more application, especially low CPU strain applications had been moving into the browser. With Windows 8, we now have another major push away from platform independence.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.