The Wabook EPC1029, with a 10.1" 1024x600, runs on the Rockchip RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8, 3 USB Host ports, it can run Android 4.0, the price for bulk orders is $93. I want to see how smooth Chrome for Android runs on this Laptop. Check back soon, I will try to get them to show the performance of Chrome for Android on ICS on this RK2918 laptop as soon as possible.
Here's my 21-minute highlights video of the Windows 8 on ARM "Consumer Preview" event keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
After the presentation, I was able to ask a few questions to Steven Synofsky and Michael Anguilo, here are some of those replies that I got:
- Desktop apps on Windows Store and Windows Store for ARM: They’ll clarify it to my email later. Steve Synofsky says it’s clear in the blog post. Windows Store is for Metro apps but there is a “parallel thing” (paraphrasing) for Desktop apps, the whole Third Party Desktop Apps for Windows 8 are not to be previewed on the Consumer Preview release yet.
- Multi-booting other OS when secure boot is in use. Steve Synofsky says that is up to the OEM. Secure Boot is a feature Microsoft provides as an option. The whole point of Secure Boot is that people cannot just “boot stuff from their garage”. But he did not seem to dismiss that OEMs can dual-boot for example Android or Ubuntu on the same device.
He didn’t say if Microsoft plans to do backroom deals with manufacturers to force them only to load Windows 8 and nothing else on devices or not, I guess not, but you never know… Maybe they do not apply “rebates” for OEMs that make things a bit “too open”, does that make any sense?
- Windows 8 remains just TI, Qualcomm, Nvidia business for now on ARM, as with Windows Phone, Microsoft limits the number of ARM Partners that can fully hardware accelerate their software platform for now. I think a lot of the other ARM chip providers are in discussions with Microsoft to see when they can also support their software. My guess is Microsoft wants a very high performance for the first supported ARM SoCs, that is why it only is being demonstrated on TI OMAP4470, Nvidia Tegra3 and Qualcomm Krait MSM8960 for now.
If I do get in contact with someone from Microsoft over email to get clarifications for Windows on ARM, please let me know in the comments what type of questions remain to be answered.
Sy Choudhury, Director of Product Management of the Web Technologies at Qualcomm talks about the hardware and software optimizations that Qualcomm is working on to make full desktop sized web browsing and other Desktop style features as smooth on their upcoming Krait platform as on any Intel Atom or other x86 processor platform for ARM Laptops, ARM Desktops, ARM Convertibles and ARM Smartphones and Tablets with Desktop and Laptop Docks! Qualcomm is pushing for the full software optimizations for the full HTML5 support and they are pushing for new HTML5 specs to more rapidly improve the features of ARM Powered Productivity oriented use of devices.
There has been false rumors going around the web for the past 2-3 months, spread by Mary-Jo Foley of ZDnet and Paul Thurrot of winsupersite.com, that somehow Windows 8 on ARM wouldn't be getting Desktop mode and full Desktop apps. Those rumors are wrong. In the following video, Microsoft demonstrates (again) how Windows 8 on ARM is going to come with a full Desktop mode with full Desktop apps such as Internet Explorer and Office.
The question of course is how does Microsoft plan to support more Desktop apps on ARM. For example, can we install a full Chrome browser on Windows 8 on ARM, how about apps like Photoshop and Ulead video studio? I expect Microsoft to have support for some recompiled desktop ARM apps in Windows store and support for PC over IP remote desktop for some x86 apps that can work smoothly over remote desktop which I expect Windows Azure to host as a cloud service.
To simplify compatibility, Microsoft is promoting the new Metro style HTML5 based apps system. Sure enough, Metro style apps all work on ARM and x86. But I am also sure that Microsoft carefully plans to also allow recompiled desktop apps on Windows 8 on ARM, they will for sure provide recompilation tools, specifications for use on PCoIP protocols, even partly use some parts of emulation and an ARM based Virtualization hypervisor.
- Microsoft provides details on Windows 8 on ARM (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- ARM-powered Windows 8 devices will likely support desktop apps (bgr.com)
- Windows 8 will debut on ARM tablets at launch (news.cnet.com)
- Windows 8 on ARM: The Desktop Plot Thickens (pcworld.com)
- Windows 8 on ARM should keep traditional desktop (electronista.com)
- Door Open to Windows 8 Desktop Apps on ARM (gizmodo.co.uk)
- Updated: Windows 8 tablets: what you need to know (techradar.com)
- Windows 8 on ARM: The desktop is still there - ZDNet (blog) (zdnet.com)
- Windows 8 Consumer Preview Event Set for Feb. 29 (mashable.com)
- Desktop apps may run on Win8 for ARM after all... maybe (engadget.com)
- Windows 8 Consumer Preview to debut at Mobile World Congress (intomobile.com)
- Windows 8 ARM version may still include a desktop mode (slashgear.com)
- Windows 8 ARM edition will include Office 15 and desktop mode (theverge.com)
This confirms my expectation for Ice Cream Sandwich, that Chrome OS and Google TV are being merged with Android. I've been talking about it since my October 5th ICS predictions and way before in May 2011, January 2011 and February 2010.
A full Chrome Browser in Android can be the key to see the huge market for ARM Powered Laptops explode.
Look forward to having a full ChromeOS-like Laptop experience on your ARM Powered Android Tablet as soon as you plug a Keyboard dock to it. Look forward to having a full Chromebox-like experience when you connect the HDMI output of your Smartphone to a PC monitor or HDTV and use a Bluetooth or USB Host Keyboard and mouse.
The main question is now to test the performance of the full Chrome browser on Android, I'd like to see its performance on the Galaxy Nexus that has the high memory bandwidth OMAP4460 1.2Ghz and 1.5Ghz processor. I'd like to see its performance on OMAP4470 1.8Ghz, and Tegra3 1.3Ghz. I think the Chrome browser performance on those Android devices can now be faster than on a Netbook.
Teradici is doing software optimization using the PCoIP (PC-over-IP) protocol to run a full x86 desktop remotely over the Internet onto an OMAP4460 device. Here in this demo remotely using an x86 desktop that is over 2000 miles away (and considering that Internet connections at trade shows can be unreliable).
This ARM Powered device is for deaf and hard of hearing people to communicate with hearing people to interact with each other face-to-face.
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.
- Genesi’s Hard Float optimizations speeds up Linux performance up to 300% on ARM Laptops (armdevices.net)
- ARM Powered Server Calxeda EnergyCore launch video (armdevices.net)
- Ubuntu at ARM TechCon 2011 (armdevices.net)
- Linaro ARM Linux optimizations status at the Freescale Technology Forum (armdevices.net)
- A further update on Linaro status at Computex 2011 (armdevices.net)
- Canonical explains the status of Ubuntu on ARM Powered Laptops (armdevices.net)
Lenovo showed a prototype of their next generation Android tablet running Ice Cream Sandwich on the 1.5Ghz Dual-core Qualcomm MSM8960 Krait processor and supporting a keyboard dock that looks similar to the Asus Transformer Prime.
Freescale launches 2 new i.MX6 ARM Cortex-A9 processors at CES 2012, while demonstrating the performance of their quad-core, they are also launching the new i.MX 6SoloLite processor, which is designed specifically for next-generation eReaders and is the follow-on to the company's i.MX508 processor and the dual-core i.MX 6DualLite, targeting a broad array of smart devices and products including tablets, IPTVs, IP phones, medical patient monitoring systems and home energy management solutions.
- Freescale's Cortex-A9 SoCs include E Ink controllers (linuxfordevices.com)
- Freescale introduces new low-power chips for eReaders, tablets, TVs (liliputing.com)