Status of Ubuntu for ARM Laptops and Servers

Posted by – January 24, 2012

David Mandala, Manager of the ARM Team at Canonical talks about the status of Ubuntu Linux on ARM Laptops and Servers, and about their plans for Ubuntu on ARM until 2014 and beyond. Who wouldn’t want to buy an awesome $199 ARM Powered Ultrabook, 13.3″ screen, ARM Cortex-A9 1.5Ghz TI OMAP4460 or 1.8Ghz TI OMAP4470, thinner, lighter than Intel Ultrabooks, 2x longer battery life on a smaller thinner battery (10x with the sunlight readable Pixel Qi), 1GB or 2GB RAM for full speed Chrome and Firefox web browser speeds?

Talking about the status of Ubuntu on TI OMAP3 (beagleboard), OMAP4 (pandaboard), Marvell, Freescale, Calxeda, plans for Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 optimizations by Ubuntu 12.10, ARM Cortex-A15, ARM Cortex-A7, ARMv8 64bit, the imminent inclusion of full hard-float optimization in Ubuntu 12.4 on ARM:

With Ubuntu 12.04 on ARM there is also hard-float support (ARMhf), as previously talked about on Phoronix, and this will mean a huge performance boost for many workloads. Mandala said the performance boost they are seeing is between 5% and 30% improvement for floating-point operations. Also benefiting greatly for end-users is improved font-rendering, web-page scrolling, and other operations from this ARM hardfp support. Other code is also benefiting due to better use of the stack calling convention.

Source: phoronix.com

  • Maventwo

    I´m more convinced of that we will soon see larger tablet pc than just 10″.

    Why not tablet pc in size of 20″ in 16:9 format?

    Ubuntu with Utouch suitable for larger integrated display computers,
    with larger flexible Amoled displays that can´t be broken if you suddenly would drop it.

    Samsung starts up to 10.1″ Amoleds on flexible substrate during Q1 and Q2 this year.

    For a couple of days ago BASF and Philips announced that they shall in joint-venture
    develop WOLED=White oled for cars inside lumination that will have solar cells on the other side
    of the white oled flexible displays.
    http://www.oled-display.net/solar-powerd-transparent-oled-car-roof-from-basf-and-philips/ 

    White oleds on flexible substrate can also be a RGB or WRGB colored full computer
    or TV-display,with solar cells on the backside of the display
    they can generate current to the battery
    in a Ultrabook computer or a tablet pc.

    Ubuntu on servers like HP project Moonshot (and other web server makers that will adopt CalXeda ARM-server concept) will be a killer app against x86 web servers.

  • Anonymous

    The numbers thrown around is staggering!

  • Marc Guillot Puig

    I’m in :)

    ¿ Where can I buy a dual-core Cortex A9 199$ laptop with Ubuntu and thinner & lighter than an Intel Ultrabook while 2x his battery life ?.

    I hope they will arrive for real, this time, I really want one of them (something like a cheaper Toshiba AC100 with Ubuntu, 2GB Ram and Neon units in their SoC).

  • Guru

    Charbax oficially predicted 25% of all notebook market at end of 2011 will be ARM (Smartbooks).
    So you have already a lot of choice.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    They’ve been a bit delayed by all the craze around the Tablets, and M$/Intel trying to threaten any ARM Powered laptop project from the big makers with words like “don’t do it or we’ll block you” etc.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    Any of the laptop makers could be making them now. The only issues are Taiwanese laptop makers have big deals with Intel not to use ARM yet, and when pushed they explain they need software like Windows 8 before they can start doing it. I’d like to see OMAP4 laptops now, let them run Ubuntu and Chrome OS for now and if Microsoft lets them multi-boot into Windows 8 later that’s fine.

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  • Sprewell

    If you’re willing to settle for a single core Cortex A8, you can get it now, as Genesi has been selling it for a while.  When I was looking for an ARM-powered laptop a little while back, this was the only real option I found, though it only has 512 MB of RAM like the AC100.  Maybe if they refresh it, it will have A9 and more RAM one of these days.

  • sola

    Sorry Charbax, but you are dreaming.

    It would be nice to have those features at those price points but it doesn’t seem to be happening. Not yet, anyways.

    1) The Efica MX is $199  but the hw is unacceptably weak for a usable Ubuntu desktop. (Cortex A8 with 512MB of RAM)

    2) 1.5Ghz Tegra3, Snapdragon S4 or OMAP5 based machines with 2GB of RAM would be OK for a full-featured Ubuntu desktop but they are nowhere to be seen or cost you $600+. I would settle for a Transformer Prime if it had 2GB of DDR3 RAM but it currently ship with 1GB DDR2. The Lenovo K2 might be OK but that may not ship with a keyboard.

    All in all, I like your vision but nobody seems to be coming out with those smartbooks, especially not for $200.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    You can see in this video of the Always Innovating OMAP4 HDMI-Stick http://armdevices.net/2012/01/12/always-innovating-omap4-hdmi-dongle/ the BOM is $30. Add to that a screen, a battery, a keyboard, few ports and connectors, that’s it! It can be manufactured for less than $100 and sold for $199 with profit. The ARM Powered Laptop only makes sense, yup with all the memory bandwidth and RAM DDR3 configured for full speed productivity.

    Genesi must release their i.MX53 and i.MX6 Laptops, Toshiba should release an AC-200 with Tegra3, etc.

  • Anonymous

    You’re making a disingenuous comparison between a minimalistic device and what a laptop would cost. Especially when the comparison is with what’s little more than a USB dongle.

    A USB dongle solution doesn’t even support all ports or provide support for both the LCD and a external monitor like most laptops do.  Let alone the design requirements for a mobile/portable device versus a stationary one are significantly different.

    Really, look at that OMAP USB dongle system and notice it doesn’t have multiple ports, it doesn’t have to support both a internal LCD screen and a external video port, it doesn’t have to have it’s own battery and power control systems that also has to handle charging of the battery, it doesn’t have sensors, it doesn’t have pretty much anything.

    So of course a basic system is going to be pretty cheap but a laptop will cost multiple times more!

    Never mind running a Desktop OS not only requires high end ARM performance, eliminating most lower end solutions options, but also requires more drive storage space, which also raises the cost of the systems with larger SSDs.  Capacities like 32GB are quickly becoming the minimum, along with 1GB to 2GB of RAM also increasing costs.

    $200 ARM laptops capable of running a desktop OS will eventually hit the market but we’re likely still at least over a year away from that happening.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    The $30 BOM HDMI-Stick uses high end ARM performance, it’s OMAP4, pretty much the highest ARM performance of the moment. All the other components to build a Laptop cost less than $70 of additional BOM. That is, considering also that someone like Toshiba, Acer, Asus, Sony, Samsung, Dell should mass manufacture 1 million of those right now.

    No need for large SSD storage, we’re talking 8GB Flash storage for Chrome OS or something similar. The ARM Laptop can have 2 full sized SDXC ports for additional flash storage and can even have some kind of port underneath so a full 2.5″ hard drive or SSD can be added as an option, thus adding up to 2TB if needed.

    Chrome OS on ARM is ready now. Chrome OS on OMAP4 is ready. And as said in this video Ubuntu on OMAP4 is ready now. The ARM Powered OMAP4460 or OMAP4470 laptops can be released now. Many of the other high end ARM Processors are ready or can relatively easily get ready for this now also. Basically there are several new high end ARM Processors with memory bandwidth much higher than Tegra2, thus full Laptop performance and $199 retail price can be done now.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, but again that $30 is not including a full system as you would with a laptop and I’m not talking about the other parts of the laptop but the core system itself.

    A USB dongle device does not need to support multiple ports, it doesn’t need to support multiple video outs, it doesn’t need to support many peripherals, it doesn’t need a advance power control circuit, it doesn’t need a battery, it doesn’t need sensors, no GPS, no 3G/4G, etc.

    All of which means a much more simple system that of course will cost less.

    So the core system alone is going to cost more, then you start adding the cost for the other laptop parts.  Like at least $40 for the LCD, more if they go IPS or Pixel Qi.  Even with high production the cost don’t go down that much, at least not for all the parts.

    While a hard drive right now is not as cheap as they were a year ago thanks to the supply shortages, which the market won’t recover from for at least several more months.

    32GB is becoming the the minimum for many systems, even Smart Phones (aside from lower end models) are getting more than just 8GB now.  So don’t try to disregard that as well for system costs. 

    Never mind that SSD performance is more important for a desktop OS than a mobile OS.  So they can’t be using the cheap low performance SSDs they typically use in most ARM devices.

    Overall specifications of laptop also have to be held to higher standards, since they are self contained complete systems and have to deal with EM interference and generation, and minimal build quality standards.  All before additional costs for making them look as good as possible to maximize consumer appeal.  Remember lousy build quality lowers the appeal of even the cheapest systems.

    Never mind, to properly run a desktop OS you need much more performance than a OMAP 4 can provide.  Sure you could run a desktop OS on it but it won’t be speedy and like people complaining about screen refresh lag, lack of speed of a OS can be annoyingly noticeable.

    Even with Chrome, a Cloud based OS, they’re pushing faster than ATOM processors because performance matters, especially if they have to rely on CPU performance and can’t take advantage of GPU acceleration.  Then there’s linux, which has distros ranging from pretty basic to some being as nearly bloated and as hard to run as Windows.

    So again, they’ll eventually get there but you’re over a year too early to be expecting them yet.  You gotta give these next gen systems time to get lower in cost and less demand for profit for brand new systems before the prices start to get that low.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    OMAP4 is better than Intel Atom. Thus OMAP4 Chromebooks can perform better than Intel Atom Chromebooks now. The key to make Chrome OS popular is to lower the price to $199. Problem solved. The OMAP4 SoC on that $30 BOM HDMI-stick is pretty much the same as can be used in a laptop configuration, expansion of SoC, use of OMAP4470, increase of RAM to perhaps 2GB, all ports and connectors, keyboard, mousepad, screen is factored in when I saw BOM for a high-end ARM Powered Laptop today can be $100. Thus retail price today $199 is easy. And that pretty much can even have a screen size like on an Ultrabook. Thus the ARM Powered Ultrabook can be $199 now. Not next year, today now. On top of that, Google gives manufacturers upwards $20 per year for 2 years if the ARM Chromebooks are actively using Google services by default. So the upwards $40 in extra Google income selling ARM Chromebooks makes it even more of a perfect business to get onto.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry but ARM is still catching up with Intel on CPU performance.  Besides which a OMAP 4 is still last year technology, it’s the next gen OMAP 5 that finally rivals Intel ATOM.

    Take a OMAP 4 Panda Board ES vs a old N270 single core ATOM…

    Apache Benchmark… 785.91 (PB) vs 1742.64 (ATOM)
    7-Zip Compression… 550 (PB) vs 931 (ATOM)
    Post Mark… 2 (PB) vs 15 (ATOM)
    NAS Parallel Benchmark… 256.22 (PB) vs 422.95 (ATOM)
    NAS Parallel Benchmark… 35.01 (PB) vs 57.87 (ATOM)

    NAS Parallel Benchmark… 5.81 (PB) vs 7.97 (ATOM)
    RAM Speed SMT… 1212.54 (PB) vs 1668.09 (ATOM)
    SciMark… 61.10 (PB) vs 134.21 (ATOM)
    TSCP… 43805 (PB) vs 125307 (ATOM)

    Really, aside from graphics because the Intel ATOM GMA sucks there isn’t much besides power efficiency and lower cost going for the OMAP 4, but like the difference between a ATOM and a AMD Fusion, just having better graphics isn’t enough and you need more than to be close in CPU performance to start claiming a edge.

    Remember OMAP 4 is still Cortex A9 and much the major improvements won’t come out until OMAP 5 with Cortex A15, along with the boost going 28nm will bring.

    While you’re also forgetting ATOM’s are starting to improve as well, with single cores being phased out in favor of dual cores and minimal clocks speeds being raised.  So while still nowhere near even a Core2Duo or Core i3, they are still noticeably better than the old N270 used in the above comparison.

    Chromebook’s baseline is dual core 1.5GHz N550 ATOM and even that is considered not good enough since they started moving to Celeron.  So don’t kid yourself, nothing but the top of the line offerings will do and it’ll be awhile before they come down in price.

    While again a $30 USB dongle system is not about the same as a ARM laptop system, as already pointed out a USB dongle size system lacks many things that are usually common to a laptop design.

    Basically a $200 ARM laptop today is the Genesi Efika MX Smartbook and it’s a pretty basic 10″ that doesn’t even compare to a Intel ATOM netbook.  While again, I already pointed out that Chromebooks are usually 11.6-12.1″ systems and larger size means even higher pricing.

    So again, don’t confuse enthusiasm with what’s actually possible right now.  It’s going to take time before they can make a $200 ARM laptop that either doesn’t suck for running a desktop OS or is the size of a UMPC to keep parts cost down enough.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    I don’t know how you got those benchmark numbers, as explained by David Mandala in video, the Pandaboards and Beagleboards use USB interfaces and SD cards for memory which does not provide as optimal performance on the memory bandwidth as a final system with memory fully integrated.

    Genesi sells a few hundred of their Efika Laptops, it’s a small startup company based in San Antonio. Genesi is not Acer, it’s not Asus, it’s not Toshiba, Dell, Sony, Samsung etc. To bring down price you need volume.

    When I say $199 OMAP4 Chromebooks now, I’m talking about 5-10 million units mass manufactured now.

    Also when I talk OMAP4 Chromebook, I’m more likely expecting it to be OMAP4470 at 1.8Ghz and with 2GB of DDR3 memory.

    GPU does matter hugely for responsiveness in apps such as the Chrome browser. More and more is Google able to hook into full hardware acceleration for the web browser, and that means the faster GPU does provide a much faster much more responsive performance. That is why AMD E-450 based Laptops feel 2x to 3x faster than Intel Atom powered Netbooks. In the same way, the OMAP4470 1.8Ghz with SGX544 (clocked much higher than Apple A5) that is ample enough for full Desktop/Laptop computing now. Running Chrome OS and Ubuntu as dual-boot, 8GB built-in fast flash memory is more than enough. The ARM Laptops come with extendable memory through dual-SDXC slots and 2.5″ Hard drive slots optional also.

    Waiting for OMAP5 is not needed. ARM Laptops can be launched right now.

    There isn’t only OMAP4470 that is appropriate. Tegra3, Exynos 4212 1.5Ghz (Samsung might have a 1.8Ghz Dual-core also), Qualcomm APQ8960 Krait 1.5-1.8Ghz, i.MX6Quad, Mavell Armada 628 (tri-core), all those and more are ready now to power full Laptop computing and are ready to crush and destroy x86 computing forever. Rockchip and Telechips also are coming with ARM Cortex-A9 within the next 3 months that are for sure powerful enough for Laptops also. AmLogic and NEC/Renesas also probably have new ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-cores about to be ready.

    And yes, I expect $199 for the base ARM Powered Laptop with normal LCD perhaps 10.1″ (20hr battery), $249 10.1″ Pixel Qi (40hr battery), $299 13.3″ Pixel Qi (40hr battery). $299 for 10.1″ touch screen versions also thus Tablet convertible.

    By the way also, starting 2012, most tablets will become Laptop convertibles, basically you click and launch a full Chrome browser in Android and you get a Chromebook experience when the Laptop Dock is used. Basic Laptop Docks to work with any Tablets can start at $19.

  • Anonymous

    USB and SD cards is no excuse for the point of CPU performance.  Old N270 ATOM systems were hardly speedy with only a single core and used either equally slow 1st/2nd gen Flash_Con SSDs or HDDs, along with RAM of either 512MB or 1GB with default configurations. 

    While also it doesn’t change the newer ATOMs are dual core, offer higher clock speeds, and now up to 4GB of RAM.

    Besides, I already pointed out that ARM typically gets less capable SSDs and they’ll need more high end SSDs for a system that’ll run a desktop OS.  Along with more storage capacity because not only does the OS need more space but so do the programs and people tend to store more of their data with a desktop OS than they do with mobile systems.

    While Genesi may not have volume but companies like Amazon do and if you look at the parts cost for the Kindle Fire just the PCB costs over $65, well above you’re $30 claim, and that’s for a small 7″ system, the screen also costing over $70, with no keyboard and still lacking ports and many of the features you’d expect with a laptop design. 

    All told the parts alone cost the Kindle Fire about $185, add cost of manufacturing/assembly and it costs Amazon just over $201 per Kindle Fire sold and they’re selling it at $199 at a loss with  all profits coming from the services they provide, but any other company needs to make profit with the hardware sale and that means even higher pricing, which again I’ll emphasize will be more for a full laptop size system.

    While you’re also underestimating how much ARM still has to cover before being considered properly capable of running desktop OS.  Many are just leveraging good graphics and hardware acceleration but they need good CPU performance and that’ll take more than mimics like calling exta media cores the same thing as CPU cores.

    So sorry but you’re way off on the hardware cost side of your estimates and when we’ll see systems as cheap as you’re thinking.

    I do agree that tablets will start becoming convertibles in 2012 though, at least before the end of the year, and while Chrome is still a unknown but Android should spread with the improvements they’re making.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    Those Kindle Fire BOM estimations are wrong. The Kindle Fire costs an average of less than $150 to make for Amazon, all components included and assembly, especially at the volume they are making them at and considering they can expect component prices to go further down a few months later as they are still manufacturing it. The Kindle Fire PCB is below $50, likely around $40, maybe even $30 considering it’s using the cheaper OMAP4430. The capacitive touch panel costs more than a keyboard and mousepad. That is why the ARM Powered Laptop BOM is lower than a Tablet.

  • Anonymous

    Now you’re being ridiculous, no one has accused the estimate of being wrong and it doesn’t matter if it is $35 off for parts.  Assembly and manufacturing fees still applies and that’s before company profit and any R&D considerations.  All for a product that Amazon doesn’t even have to worry about profit because they make that from services. So other companies will have to price higher to make it worth it to them.

    Never mind it’s still a minimalistic 7″ tablet and a larger laptop will cost more anyway.

    So you’re estimates are too low and we’re not going to see a good $200 ARM laptop until maybe next year.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    Yeah nobody accuses random web estimates to be wrong. That is the standard deal you get on the blogosphere. A bunch of blogs reblog whatever they read elsewhere without actually checking. Kindle Fire cost is $150 including the $10 for Chinese factory assembly. I’ve checked at conferences worldwide, I hear and I see what the devices are being sold at. ARM Powered tablets are made for sub-$50 BOM today. The high-end ARM Powered Laptop BOM can be sub-$100 when mass produced.

    Genesi sells theirs sub-$199 and they aren’t even mass manufacturing them. Put a new high-end processor and mass manufacture it and price remains $199 today.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry but IHS iSuppli has a much better record of being accurate than you do.http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/Amazon-Kindle-Fire-Costs-$201-70-to-Manufacture.aspxWhile again, you are simply ignoring the facts.Genesi only make a low end 10″ ARM laptop that doesn’t even match netbook standards.  While again the Kindle Fire is basically a bare bones tablet at 7″ which means anything larger will cost more.So sorry but all you’re doing is being stubborn.  Really, lots of the products you’ve given estimates on cost have pretty consistently wound up costing more.  It’s about time you start compensating your estimates!

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    iSuppli does not take into account volume of component orders. When Amazon makes a 20 million component order they get significant rebates. You really think isuppli sits in at supplier contract signing meetings?

  • Anonymous

    Sorry but iSuppli does factor for volume, it’s right in their disclaimer!

    Doesn’t change the average market value or all the factors you are choosing to ignore.  Like examples like the Kindle Fire have a much lower build cost than a laptop design would.

    Nor that it again doesn’t change anything as the difference wouldn’t be large enough like I already pointed out. 

    Most of what you’re basing for lower cost are also lower performing and lower build quality and even then they don’t reach the $200 price point after profit margins are factored for a laptop size system.

    Really, enough of your predictions have fallen flat that you should start to be at least being more conservative in your estimates.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    All my predictions turn out to be true. I predicted the Tablet was going to be huge back in 2003, and I’ve been the main ARM Powered tablet blogger since 2004. I’ve predicted ARM Powered Google TV would make Google TV popular, ARM Powered Chrome OS makes Chrome OS popular, etc.

  • Anonymous

    LOL, sorry but no one can claim all their predictions came true, or came out exactly as predicted, and a lot of yours did not come true.  So get over yourself.

    People have been predicting tablets would be big since the 90′s and it was still years after you claimed to make the prediction before they finally started to get successful.

    Let alone more specific predictions like claiming $200 laptops when the market is still at minimum another year away from that coming true.

    This is not the first time you’ve predicted a price and it turned out to be much higher when it finally came to market.  You do this a lot, rushing the rate the market will advance far faster than it’s actually moving.  You have to step back and counter for your enthusiasm for more realistic estimates.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    The cheap ARM Laptops can be made and sold now. The question only is if the large brands want to do that yet or not. The fact is only a few brands are big enough to afford deciding to mass manufacture a type of product. And often those brands are the same who have exclusive and secret deals right now with Intel and in those deals, it’s veryclear that Intel forbids them to start making ARM Powered Laptops. It is of very high importance to Intel that nobody starts mass manufacturing ARM Laptops. That is why OLPC will lead the way and show the world that $199 ARM Laptops are a very good idea. 3x longer battery than x86, much lower complexity, much lower price, much better reliability and ample enough performance. If ARM Laptops are not yet dominant on this market it has not to do with technology it has to do with dirty politics and timing for that.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    In reply to the thread lower:
    The cheap ARM Laptops can be made and sold now. The question only is if the large brands want to do that yet or not. The fact is only a few brands are big enough to afford deciding to mass manufacture a type of product. And often those brands are the same who have exclusive and secret deals right now with Intel and in those deals, it’s veryclear that Intel forbids them to start making ARM Powered Laptops. It is of very high importance to Intel that nobody starts mass manufacturing ARM Laptops. That is why OLPC will lead the way and show the world that $199 ARM Laptops are a very good idea. 3x longer battery than x86, much lower complexity, much lower price, much better reliability and ample enough performance. If ARM Laptops are not yet dominant on this market it has not to do with technology it has to do with dirty politics and timing for that.

  • Anonymous

    No, the cheap ARM laptops that can be made now at that price aren’t good enough to run a desktop OS properly.  While those that can will cost more than you’re estimating.

    You just said it yourself, only a few companies can afford to do large enough mass productions to even attempt it right now but those same companies will not settle for a loss or small profit margin.

    Exclusive deals are not even the problem, the market is simply not at the point yet that both the performance and the pricing can produce a product that will only cost the end customer $200 and still be something they will actually want to use.

    There’s the whole market ecosystem you’re ignoring as well.  ARM needs more than just to produce another laptop product.

    So you can blame politics all you want, you’re exaggerating how ready ARM is at this point and not accounting for the time needed for all the things that need changing to get into place before it will be.

  • Anonymous

    Charbax has been making some wild and crazy predictions that have never come to fruition.

    Example: http://www.marketwatch.com/community/Charbax/comments/story

    He is overly-enthusiastic about the state of affairs; re-hashing the same $100 subnotebook ARM laptop scenario (see my link to his comments above). He has been saying the end of Apple since 2009 (again, see the links to my comments above).

    The price point he is throwing around (like he did in 2009) again is wildly dreaming or should I say, a total fantasy. Watch this post will be banned/censored for telling the truth.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    All my predictions are true. For now all Arm tablets have touch screens and no keyboards in the form of tablets for now, and those are making Wintel very very worried. Apple is being attacked by Android choice and value. The innevitable happens eventually, such giants can resist collapse for a few months not forever.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    All my predictions are true. For now all ARM Laptops have touch screens and no keyboards in the form of tablets for now, and those are making Wintel very very worried. Apple is being attacked by Android choice and value. The innevitable happens eventually, such giants can resist collapse for a few months not forever.

  • Anonymous

    You are now flat-out lying. I’ll be kind and say you are taking great liberties at revisionist history ; changing the story as you go along, never accepting you are wrong like others who make failed predictions.

    It hasn’t been a few months. It has been more than 18 months since you last post those comments. We are close to 2 years. Several quarters now.

    lets recap what you said.

    you – July 26,2009.
    “$100 Laptops powered by British technology from ARM Holdings, running with the first mass market Google OS based on Linux….. Revenues and profits per computer will go down for the whole industry.”

    you said specifically said Google laptops based on Google OS running Linux. This is implying Chrome OS. Not Android. The apocalyptic collapse you said never materialized.
    Revenues and profits for Intel, Microsoft, and Apple you mentioned have been hitting record books. Apple’s last Q was a blockbuster. Apple’s own profits exceeds Google’s revenue.

    you -July 26,2009
    “Once 12 companies are selling $100 Android phones with NO contract, Apple’s iphone will be finished…”

    I read your blog just to see these no-name cheap rockchips devices. Apparently you showcase enough enough and they still haven’t been a threat.

    you -April 30,2010
    “Now that Flash is going to work on the ARM Powered cheapest $100 Linux Laptops, Desktops, Tablets and Phones, Flash suddenly has become the biggest threat to Microsoft, Intel and Apple.”

    News flash…… 2011. Flash is dead on mobile. I don’t even think your blog even mentions this.

    That epic paradigm shift you were expecting never materialized.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    Android and Chrome OS pretty much are the same thing. Add a full Chrome browser to Android and it becomes like a Chrome OS with Android apps support behind it. Look around you, the industry is ARM defined, the post-PC era is destroying all x86 Laptop profit margins, in the form of Tablets for now. But add a keyboard dock to any tablet and it’s a Laptop.

    Profits are one thing, future prospects are another. Go into the room of board of directors meetings at any of Intel, Microsoft and Apple and you will feel their fear. They know their game is soon to be over.

    The $100 no contract Android phones with the performance above Nexus One are arriving in 2012 finally. Before 2012, the sub-$100 no contract phones were popular but the performance and feel below a HTC G1. Now the sub-$100 phones can perform better than a Nexus One and a $150 phone can perform near as a Galaxy S2. In 2012, more than half of the 500 million smartphones to be sold at going to be sold at sub-$100 to the consumer.

    Apple read my blog about Flash and that’s why they were desperate trying to block it off of the iOS platform. Flash on Android already harmed Wintel enough. The point is full embedded multimedia works fully smoothly on ARM now, there is no need for x86 anymore, and no need for Windows anymore either.

  • Anonymous

    “Apple read my blog about Flash and that’s why they were desperate trying to block it off of the iOS platform.”

    If you seriously think your blog was the precursor to what made Apple cock-block flash, then you are dreaming. Seriously, you think your blog was the impetus and Steve Jobs acted based on your predictions? You think way too highly of yourself. They blocked it because it failed. I am a developer. 

    Adobe/Macromedia promised working Flash on mobile devices since 2001.  Go research it. It is well documented. I have several $1500 receipts from various Macromedia dev conferences to prove it. The promises was littered in their evangelical propaganda materials to keep you on as a dev and invest yearly into their eco-system. I invested over $$$$$$$ as a developer on the platform to be mislead by a broken promises.

    9 years of failing to deliver is the reason why Flash was not adopted. You don’t give your vendors the benefit of the doubt when they continually to fail to deliver 9 years in a row. 9 years in a row is an eternity in the tech age.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    Flash has been a huge success. First 10 years working perfectly to re-inforce the Wintel empire. No other platform could support a huge chunk of the web due to no Flash support. And since M$ announced failed Silverlight and Intel announced failed Meego, Adobe knew to cancel their long time exlusive Wintel conspiracy to open up to any open embedded platform that wanted full Flash support. Flash now works pretty much perfectly on Android, fuly hardware accelerated, the Wintel empire is dead, their work is done.

  • Anonymous

    Flash has been a success but it wasn’t because of a conspiracy but because of three basic reasons…

    1) Whether you like it or not Flash worked and had a wide range of applications.

    2) There was no real alternative and even now not every application can do without Flash in at least some capacity.

    3) Market momentum, people use what they’re used to and it’s hard to change.

    The problem with Flash for ARM was it wasn’t efficient enough for most mobile devices as ARM until recently lacked the performance needed.  Even on x86, systems like netbooks were limited to SD quality until relatively recently.

    It took years before Adobe finally added hardware acceleration and tweaked the Flash player to work good enough for at least the high end ARM devices to run properly.

    However, it was still a drain on the system and no help for the increasing demand for longer run times.  While many are now pushing HTML5, even though it is not ready to replace Flash in all applications.

    While Apple avoided things like multi-tasking for years for iOS because of the hit on performance it would have caused, among other reasons why they avoided Flash and the problems to system stability it would have caused them.

    So let’s not make everything a conspiracy, or at least not the only reasons, when there were practical reasons why things happened the way they did.

  • http://ARMdevices.net/ Charbax

    There is a reason they kept flash proprietary. It’s to be able to use it as leverage to create exclusive partnerships with platform makers. It’s how Adobe became a giant software company on the Wintel platform, possibly the biggest or one of the biggest software companies in the world other than Microsoft. If Flash had been open source, full hardware acceleration would have existed on Linux x86, Linux ARM (including Qtopia, Montavista and earlier Androids), there’d even be fully smooth Flash on jailbroken iPhones by now. Flash doesn’t have to be any more bloated than HTML5 or anything else. If Flash was free and open source it could even become an official part of the HTML5 spec, taking care of some of the vector graphics, animations, embeds, interaction type of functionalities that HTML5 is moving toward. iOS could have gotten as good a Flash support as Android by now but Steve Jobs knew about Adobe’s conspiracies over the past decade and thus did not want to give all that power to Adobe who also had all kinds of plans to create a Flash based application store etc that would have worked totally outside of the Apple Apps Store. Not support flash has nothing to do with bloat and performance and has everything to do with conspiracies, platform plays, walled gardens and trying to disrupt competing platforms on the market.

  • Anonymous

     The reason they kept Flash proprietary was to make profit and because it started out being marketed to OEMs, partnering with operators to reach consumers.

    Besides, Open Source is not easy to turn into a working business model!

    While even if Flash was open source doesn’t mean they could have pushed hardware acceleration any faster.  A lot of the problem was with how Flash was being applied.

    Also it wouldn’t have changed the fact that ARM has only pretty recently started providing good enough performance to run Flash properly even with hardware acceleration, and the hardware fragmentation would still have slowed adoption.

    Adobe’s partners were also slow moving and didn’t apply new innovations quick enough to matter to the market as they focused on feature phones which represented a much larger
    share of device shipments (and revenue to the mobile business unit) at the time.

    Unfortunately for them iOS and Android, along with Smart Phones in general made those old business models obsolete.

    Job’s rejected Flash for iOS because at the time neither of the available version of Flash suited the iPhone business model.

    Adobe eventually reacted and tried to apply Flash to the Smart Phone market but it was too little too late and now they have to adapt to Windows 8, and the changing market landscape with the strong possibility that they may have to do away with Flash altogether once a replacement finally comes to market.

    So it was poor choice in priorities and business model that effected Flash and not an outright conspiracy as you try to portray it.

  • Anonymous

     The reason they kept Flash proprietary was to make profit and because it started out being marketed to OEMs, partnering with operators to reach consumers.

    Besides, Open Source is not easy to turn into a working business model!

    While even if Flash was open source doesn’t mean they could have pushed hardware acceleration any faster.  A lot of the problem was with how Flash was being applied.

    Also it wouldn’t have changed the fact that ARM has only pretty recently started providing good enough performance to run Flash properly even with hardware acceleration, and the hardware fragmentation would still have slowed adoption.

    Adobe’s partners were also slow moving and didn’t apply new innovations quick enough to matter to the market as they focused on feature phones which represented a much larger
    share of device shipments (and revenue to the mobile business unit) at the time.

    Unfortunately for them iOS and Android, along with Smart Phones in general made those old business models obsolete.

    Job’s rejected Flash for iOS because at the time neither of the available version of Flash suited the iPhone business model.

    Adobe eventually reacted and tried to apply Flash to the Smart Phone market but it was too little too late and now they have to adapt to Windows 8, and the changing market landscape with the strong possibility that they may have to do away with Flash altogether once a replacement finally comes to market.

    So it was poor choice in priorities and business model that effected Flash and not an outright conspiracy as you try to portray it.

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