Thanks to OLPC, we have soon 50 million netbooks in rich countries. Intel and Microsoft’s profit margins per laptop are shrinking rapidly.
Thanks to OLPC, children have soon millions of cheap lower power laptops in poor countries.
Thanks to OLPC, the PC/Laptop industry’s interpretation of Moore’s law has totally been reshaped, every 18month now PC/laptops will be half the price instead of 2x more powerful and with 2x more bloatware.
Sure, I would have been happier, and so would most other Linux geeks if OLPC had shipped 100 million laptops to poor children by now, and not just 1 million units. Reason for that not happening yet in multi-hundred million scales though are several:
1. Intel will do anything it can not to be killed off by a non-profit laptop technology revolution. Including abusing of monopolistic situations and corrupting politicians.
2. AMD is not much interested in helping OLPC succeed in lowering the cost of laptops and PCs. Lower cost also means less profits and margins for AMD, and AMD has enough problems with profits and margins as it is.
Looking forward, to reach those 100 million poor children sooner rather than later:
1. OLPC needs to find an alternative to AMD as soon as possible. VIA is planned for XO-1.5 which could hopefully ship a few millions of units in a few months time, if VIA supports this move of OLPC creating a cheaper and lower power market using their processor. XO-1.5 could reach the $150 pricepoint soon and enable dozens of commercial netbooks using the VIA processor and also copying on the way OLPC is using the VIA processor.
2. OLPC needs to implement the worlds best ARM processor based laptops for XO-2 working with Google to implement the so called Chrome OS on those. Cloud computing can work also for places without stable internet access, HTML5 supports offline web apps and offline databases. OLPC needs to push Google to make it work on WiFi Mesh networks as well. XO-2 can start at $100 when released and reach the $50 price point, when manufactured using any of half a dozen ARM processor companies chips. All of TI, Qualcomm, Marvell, Freescale, Nvidia and Samsung, all those ARM processors should fit in the XO-2 design. Competition will bring the prices down faster.
Also, to reach those 100 million children, OLPC needs to have more than just a couple dozen engineers working on the whole optimizations of hardware and software for the project.
What OLPC managed to build in XO1 and XO-1.5 with 30 employees and the little budget that they could get is absolutely amazing.
But what OLPC probably needs for XO-2 to absolutely work and sell laptops soon at $50 to revolutionize education worldwide, is thousands of engineers and the support from Barack Obama and the European Union.
So OLPC’s political agenda definitely needs to be more targeted towards the politics of education and aid of the USA and Europe and with much more ambition to make things happen in huge scale as quickly as possible.
I would link to the Masterful John C Dvorak for some very clever guessing: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/is-googles-new-os-more-than-just-a-bluff?siteid=
I do not believe John C Dvorak is 100% right in his funny column, though I do believe he is right when he says that this is all a super clever public relations trick put on by Google and that all of it is just the Google OS coming up. John C Dvorak is mostly right about most things that he says.
I believe it will be released open sourced in a couple of months, with the first ARM Cortex A8 and Tegra based laptops.
Android 2.0 and Chrome OS is the same thing. It doesn’t matter what Google says and what bloggers think. There is only one way Google is working towards:
- Making full Chrome browser work on ARM embedded laptops even better than on x86 based laptops.
Now, you might know me as the contiunous x86 basher, I kind of am. But what I believe Google wants is more competition in both hardware and software space for PCs and laptops. This is what Google OS is all about.
The reasons Google might caution Google OS on ARM fans to wait for are a few technological breakthroughs which Google might need before the worldwide availability of perfect $100 Google laptops can happen:
1. ARM Cortex A8 needs to be fast enough for a full browser. If it’s not, then Google needs to wait for broad availability of ARM Cortex A9 starting early next year.
2. Google and the whole ARM community needs to optimize browsers, flash, HTML5 features on DSP and GPU cores of laptops, especially ARM laptops, so that $100 laptops can run a FULL browser and cloud computing experience. Nvidia, Qualcomm, Freescale, Texas Instruments were promising hardware acceleration for the browser, Flash and HTML5 at Computex, but they didn’t really show it yet. I believe they can make it work as a 2003 X86 based browser (something like a 512MB RAM or less system), though that may not be enough for the full mass market to adopt the first version, thus Google might prefer to wait for full launch for it to work better than 2009 x86 browsers.
3. Google wants better connectivity. Google is strongly hoping to start implementing White Spaces worldwide as soon as possible, this will enable free unlimited wireless Internet for all (and destroy all ISPs and telcos in the process). Optimized Connected standby features for ARM devices might only really start working perfectly early next year. First generation ARM Google OS laptops might not have LED lights that turn on instantly on incoming emails, feeds, pings, IMs, VOIP calls and other such crucial presence and social networking web apps which Google needs on the Google laptops for it to really feel like revolutionary products compared to the established systems.
4. Political aspects of this might start being put into places early next year as well such as real competition on HSDPA connectivity, maximum prices of $20 per month pre-paid data-only plans for most of the world and no more contract-plans and other voice and SMS plans forced onto consumers by monopolistic telcos. Also political decision on net neutrality, white spaces, sustainable energy consumption of consumer electronics and servers and crucial for Google to succeed on this global cloud computing plan.
I see it as inevitable, that Google will create Google OS, a super tiny embedded Linux open source OS less than 50 Megabytes for the whole highly optimized OS, and that in a couple of months we will start seeing it ship on $150 ARM based laptops with all types of screen sizes (large screens and keyboards aren’t much more expensive than small ones, consider $50 upgrade for 15″ and full keyboard instead of 10″ and tiny netbook keyboard).
Those $150 Google laptops will be running ARM chips by half a dozen competing ARM processor manufacturers and manufactured by all the major laptop manufacturers in the world. Effectively putting out of business all of Microsoft, Intel and Apple. Together with most of Silicon Valley. That is for the better. For the first time billions more people will have access to this technology very quickly and we will all for the first time really find amazing new ways to use the technology.
As for technical details on Native versus Cloud apps. I believe natively you will have everything needed for a full computing experience. Basically it’s not just the browser, it’s not just flash support, it’s not just HTML5 including native code plugins for the browser and 3D in the browser, it’s like providing you the hypervisors, user interface APIs, clever caching and seamless interface optimizations, which will enable you to not only have a full 2009 x86 style computing experience, it will plug you into the full cloud, in fact giving you infinately more computing power for all the most processor intensive tasks that the biggest professionals would want to use. You can definitely encode videos using grid server encoding, I have been doing that for over 2 years for all my HD video encoding needs, just have a fast enough upload to upload your source files from your camcorders. Google Gears type database and web application caching not only lets you do things while offline, it can turn all web applications into feeling exactly like native applications, they respond instantly without having to wait for any online service to stream the user interfaces back at you. The user interfaces will be locally cached on the machine, only processed data is streamed from the cloud, and clever pre-loading algorithms mostly will not make you feel any difference than processing everything using a local X86 processor. In fact, things will feel much faster cause you will be able to have the power of an unlimited amount of cloud servers to render, process and encode any of your media intensive tasks.
Ryanair and Easyjet are full of Corporate World types, who just enjoy that they can save money on flight tickets. Sales of Business class tickets on any airline company are tanking. Saving money and getting smaller, better, cheaper laptops is absolutely a universal thing, not only for the mass market, also for corporate types.
You will get £100 Google OS Laptops, running 15-20 hours on a 3-cell battery, fully sunlight readable with the Pixel Qi screen, highly optimized with built-in HSDPA always-on connectivity, connected standby features (rings or blinks an alert light from full standby on incoming emails or calendar alerts), all Google OS laptops will be based on ARM Processors.
Basically Chrome OS = Android 2.0 optimized for Laptops. It will absolutely take over the world, as the absolute best OS for ARM Laptops, instantly putting Microsoft, Apple and Intel out of business.
I posted this as a comment on http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/15/google_chrome_os/comments/
I broadcast a 3 hour live video coverage on the 11th of June from the Archos event in Paris. Henri Crohas the CEO of Archos's Keynote with guests on stage such as Alain Madelain President of the World Fund on Digital Solidarity for the Archos 9classmate launch, Presidents of Intel France and Microsoft France as well launching the new line of Archos Intel/Microsoft products, you can see here the 3 hour long video that we broadcast live from Paris today filmed using an Archos 10's built-in Webcam using ustream.tv. You can scroll this video forward to 57 minute to see the English speaking live video coverage from the Archos showcase of all the new products, including interviews of Archos representatives, discussions among the Archos bloggers and more:
There is also a second part of this broadcast, where we continue to go up close with the products:
HD hands-on videos are being uploaded right now. If my Hotel's internet upload is fast enough, you will have the videos posted early tomorrow morning. Otherwise I will upload them during the next couple of days.
Archos Android products will be shown later, in September, by the 15th of September 2009, Archos will have the Android event with one or more Android products shown. Sorry, I thought that Archos was going to show the Android products at this event.
Thanks to BenMars for borrowing his Archos 10 laptop to enable us to do this live video streaming from the event today!
Archos had representatives from Intel and Microsoft on stage, so Archos could not use this event to also show their fully in-house developed Archos Android product or line of products. Sadly. We will have to wait a bit more to see more of that. But Archos CEO Henri Crohas started his Keynote speaking about the Android line of products and giving us some details, basically saying that it's going to be awesome.
Archos explained a bit of how it is working now in terms of R&D and development work. Archos still has their core engineering team working on the Android device/devices to be unveiled on or before September the 15th at another event. All the while, Archos is able to release Intel and Microsoft based products and position themselves very well on the market, in partnership with engineers and manufacturers in China, in partnership with Intel and Microsoft as well.
You can hear more from the Archos CEO Henri Crohas about Android in the keynote that we broadcast live using ustream.tv at around the 15-25th minute: http://archosfans.com/2009/06/11/archos-event-video-recorded/
Here I filmed a highlight of Henri Crohas's talk about Android in upcoming Archos device/devices:
CrOvax and Ulrich from http://frandroid.com are Android fans at the Archos event in Paris, reporting about their reaction to the fact that Archos is not zet showing the Android device/devices publicly but only a bit talking about them at this point, and annoncing only officially about the Archos Android September event that will be coming up.
A representative of the Marvell embedded processor explains its positioning on the market with its PXA168 and other PXA based Marvell processors compared to ARM Cortex and to Intel Atom.
AllGo Embedded Systems develops Android for PMPs using Freescale i.MX37 processor. AllGo optimizes Android use on low cost PMP devices including support for WiFi and DVD resolution video playback.
This super compact desktop consumes under 1W of power and still runs all the important software that most people need.
Powered by a Marvell processor, this is a $79 low power consuming computer to host your home NAS or anything else you want, totally open source.