The awesome demo Microsoft presented at Computex last June looked like Windows 8 can quite possibly be ready for release in consumer devices before Christmas, at least in tablet mode.
How can the ARM Version of Windows 8 be ready for release already?
- On a tablet, they don't really need to have all the .exe apps support, on ARM anyways, they can virtualize all that later.
- Microsoft probably is tempted to be a part of the Christmas tablet sales party. All they have to do is release an ARM tablet version of it now.
- The tablets don't need as powerful ARM processors as Laptops, as you want full screen multi-tab web browsing to be fully smooth on a Laptop in Desktop mode. On a tablet, consumers are ok with a bunch of full screen UI stuff moving around, and while multi-tasking is awesome, basic consumers don't even really know how to fully take use of it on a touch screen device.
- They can call those Beta tablets, or something.
What Microsoft should do with Windows 8 if they want to win market share and if they want a chance to compete with Android, Chrome OS and iOS on the platform ecosystem:
- Make it free
- Make it open source
Sure, this is a very weird suggestion for Microsoft. But why not?
Can't Microsoft find other ways to monetize their platform than upfront licencing and patent lawsuits against competing platforms? If I am the Microsoft CEO, I tell them to focus on monetizing web apps, web services, provide the Office suite as a fully optimized web app, with paid services online for power users and the enterprise. Full cloud based Virtualization of all Windows apps, provide that as a service. If Windows used to get an average of $50 per Windows licence, they can focus to try to get as much or more through cloud services.
Should Microsoft be ashamed of revealing their source code to the world? The idea of open source is to enable the most manufacturers access to customize and optimize the OS for all types of hardware. Because manufacturers have to differentiate with hardware, Microsoft cannot win market share if all the Windows hardware looks too similar. They need all the smallest Chinese manufacturers to be using Windows 8 and sell those devices to developing countries and worldwide without worrying about optimizing, without worrying about paying licence fees, the strategy of free and open source instantly legalizes the Chinese and Indian market for Microsoft.
At last CeBIT, I interviewed Microsoft about Open Source, with the right CEO in charge (can Steve Ballmer do it?), they should embrace open source for Windows 8:
Let's see tomorrow how right or wrong I am with my Windows 8 speculations.
- Microsoft prepares to BUILD its Windows 8 future (winrumors.com)
- Microsoft set to reveal Windows 8 tablet next week? (techradar.com)
- Rumor: Windows 8 Tablet Appears Next Week (wired.com)
- Samsung Windows 8 Tablet Tipped for Microsoft Conference next week (slashgear.com)
I got it confirmed by a high-ranked product strategy manager (on Ultrabooks) at Acer that Acer will likely not release an ARM Powered Laptop before Windows 8 is ready. That probably means, he says, not before the beginning of next year. He says though that he does not know about Acer making ARM Chromebooks or not. I have to emphasise that this guy is in charge of the strategies around Acer's new Ultrabook, so he might not know everything that is being worked on in his 7757-employee, $20-Billion-revenues-per-year company.
Sorry about my article posted on July 23rd, quoting yet another turns-out-to-be-a-false-rumor Digitimes article where the Acer CEO was reportedly saying that Acer's ARM laptop was imminent.
Another perhaps interesting aspect of Acer's business to consider is that while Acer complains of lowering profit margins and lowering consumer spending on Intel Powered Laptops and Desktops (in exchange for more spending on ARM Powered Smartphones and Tablets), companies like Lenovo and Dell seem to be suggesting in other speeches that they are doing ok. I do not know if Lenovo's numbers about them being the fastest growing PC maker has something to do with them having recently acquired NEC and Medion, it surely is interesting to follow the profit margin and growth-disruption that ARM devices are doing to the PC business.
The imminent $199 ARM Powered Chromebook is the single most disruptive threat to Intel, Microsoft, Apple and the PC/Mac profit margins business.
Probably the highlight of this IFA show for me has thus far been the unveiling of the awesome Samsung Galaxy Note (2), Samsung Galaxy S2 LTE and Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 for reasons of the pure awesomeness to see the new high resolution Super AMOLED screens in action (4.5", 5.3" and 7.7") and to get a feeling of the upcoming probable Nexus Prime hardware experience.
There is some talk on blogs about Samsung removing the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 from the showfloor today on http://www.techmeme.com/110903/p15#a110903p15 and this has now become the conspiracy theory here in Berlin around the IFA show.
I do not believe for one second that Apple has any authority over Samsung at IFA, regardless of the bogus lawsuits going on in bogus court rooms in Dusseldorf, Netherlands and Australia. Samsung is paying the IFA consumer electronics show millions of euros for their hall, over many years, Apple never spent one single cent at IFA or at any other trade shows worldwide for that matter. Apple thinks they are too cool to compete in trade shows, Apple does not want people to think of them as a mere competitor in a market.
Here's what I think Samsung might be thinking right now, and what I have been saying from the first second I saw their latest devices:
1. Samsung is now the worlds leading Smart Phone manufacturer, in front of Apple.
2. Just like Apple, Samsung makes much higher profit margins on the smartphones than on the tablets.
3. Even with the new Super AMOLED factory now in function in South Korea, Samsung can simply not output enough Super AMOLED screens of all the different sizes and types before this Christmas sales.
4. The 7.7" Super AMOLED screen is awesome and all, but Samsung cannot justify the extra cost of manufacturing 7.7" Super AMOLED vs continuing to use LCD on Tablet sizes.
5. Samsung needs to make about 50 million Smartphone sized Super AMOLED Plus screens during these next few months, there is no space in their factory to also make 7.7" such screens, and it basically costs 3x to 4x more to make a 7.7" Super AMOLED screen compared to a 4.5" size, cause you can fit upwards 3x to 4x more smartphone sized screens on their manufacturing process.
6. Super AMOLED screens are beautiful to look at, bravo. But the LCD manufacturing process is operating at about 40x larger scale worldwide. Also, advances in LCD screens cannot really justify the cost difference in manufacturing those expensive Super AMOLED screens.
7. The reason Samsung can make Super AMOLED screens today even though I would guess the Super AMOLED Plus screen costs 2x more than the highest-end LCD, is that Samsung is still making $250 profit or more per smartphone when they sell them upwards $500 through carriers and unlocked.
8. My main complaint on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 form factor is that it is too wide to fit normal jacket pockets, I cannot fit it inside of my jacket pocket. That means that it makes it much less likely people will carry it around everywhere, but that it would have to mostly stay at home. While being shown at IFA, the device did have a sticker saying something like "this may not be the final design", maybe Samsung has figured out from mine and others comments at the show, that if they really want to release a 7.7" tablet, they may have to consider trying to cut more of the bezel off of the device.
Here are some pictures comparing the my Archos 70 Internet Tablet that I have used every day for the past 11 months because I can carry it everywhere in my jacket pocket vs the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7" shown at IFA that simply does not fit in jacket pockets so has to stay at home:
While the Samsung Galaxy Note also is fantasticly awesome, my suggestion to technology fans is not to expect that Samsung can manufacture enough of those 5.3" HD Super AMOLED screens before the end of this year. Also, Samsung may be realizing that it may be very hard to sell the feature of using a stylus on top of a capacitive screen, it may be too hard for them to lower the lag time and increase the accuracy enough to make it usable. In which situations does mass market consumers really want to use a stylus often? I can think of situations such as collaborating in real-time on annotating text, but I don't think a light emitting Super AMOLED screen is the right type of screen for that usage.
So where does Samsung go from here? My guess is that they will focus as much of the Super AMOLED factory as they can on making 4.3" and 4.5" screens for the upcoming Nexus Prime = Samsung Galaxy S2 = Samsung Galaxy S2 LTE = Verizon Droid Prime, etc. This is where they are getting the most profit. And while the Samsung Galaxy Note might come out, and can definitely sell plenty more than Dell Stream 5 did a year ago, I think Samsung is probably going to use LCD for the Tablets that they'll release before the end of this year. My guess is Samsung may release updates for their 7" and 10.1" tablets before the end of this year, and those will likely use LCD and not Super AMOLED.
In the medium term, I guess that AMOLED may be phased out again, but it already cannot be considered a failure in any way, it has provided Samsung with a unique differentiator in their market share gaining activities in the most important smartphone market. By the time AMOLED factories may be closed in 2-3 years, the quality of LCD at that time will have increased so much, with technologies such as Pixel Qi, IPS and FFS, that it will not make sense to make any AMOLED anymore. Most importantly, the profit margins on smartphones will quickly be reduced as the smartphone becomes a commodity, the profit margins will not anymore allow for the price difference that there is between LCD and AMOLED.
On August 26th 1991, Linus Torvalds released Linux in the comp.os.minix newsgroup:
Hello everybody out there using minix -
I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and
professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing
since april, and is starting to get ready. I'd like any feedback on
things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat
(same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons)
among other things).
I've currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40), and things seem to work.
This implies that I'll get something practical within a few months, and
I'd like to know what features most people would want. Any suggestions
are welcome, but I won't promise I'll implement them 🙂
PS. Yes - it's free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs.
It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never
will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's all I have :-(.
The creation of Linux was possible thanks to the Socialist system in Finland that provides free unlimited University education to its students, where Linus Torvalds was able to mess around with his own personal ideas for 8 and a half years for free:
Some talk by Linus Torvalds about Linux 10 years ago on the Charlie Rose TV show:
While Linux totally dominates in your smart phone (Android), in your TV/set-top-box, in the worlds servers that host all websites, in powering Government and Industry infrastructure, I believe that with Chrome OS and OLPC we are also soon likely to see Linux dominate for the home and enterprise desktop/laptop OS ecosystem.
SingularityHub.com publishes this article about the explosion of access to cheap Android phones in the developing world. Already 350 thousand $80 Huawei IDEOS have been sold through Kenya's carrier Safaricom. Kenya has a population of 41 million people, 40% are said to live with less than $2 per day.
The developing world, Africa, BRIC countries Brazil, Russia, India, China, access to cheaper Android in those countries, that is the most interesting story in technology today. Sure we will all also get better, faster, more powerful, more colorful and more featureful gadgets soon also. But the idea that 5 Billion people may soon experience the Internet for the first time through Android smart phones, and thinking of what that can potentially do to improve peoples lives, that is the biggest story.
We're talking better farming, better healthcare, better commerce, better education, better democracy. The potential is immense. Hopefully technology companies are really attentive, hopefully software developers are imaginative, hopefully telecom carriers and Governments embrace this for all and very fast, Android may reach sub-$50 phones before the end of this year to even further accelerate the reach and accessibility.
Here's my video of the Huawei IDEOS as it was unveiled for the first time at the IFA 2010 consumer electronics show in Berlin (the next IFA 2011 is coming up in less than 2 weeks, I will provide you with a full video coverage of all the latest ARM Powered devices shown there):
Follow this blog for the latest news on the cheapest Android phones, I am trying to find some new MTK6573, ST U6715, MSM7227 and the upcoming new cheaper smart phone platforms out of China and elsewhere. Look forward to a lot of crazy cheap Android smart phone news in the months to come. By the way, I've used my $87 FG8 for the past 3 months as my main phone and it has worked great.
Here are some numbers according to Josh Pritchard, posted on Quora about a week before this acquisition was announced:
--Motorola actually has ~$3.2B in cash (~$170M are "cash deposits"), with $200M more coming from Motorola Solutions, per the terms of the separation.
--They have $2.4B in deferred tax assets, that Google presumably plans to use (the media seems to be completely missing this one).
So, if you net the cash and tax assets, it's more like ~$7B that Google is paying for the operating businesses and the patents.
Motorola Mobility has $6.2 Billion in assets (buildings and other stuff?) according to Wikipedia. Google gets 19 thousand new employees (up from 29 thousand current Google employees, a 65% jump in employee count).
Of course, what everyone is talking about are those 17 thousand patents and 7 thousand pending patents that Motorola Mobility has. Consider Motorola is a 80 year old company. Their patents most likely include many of the interesting Hardware Patents, I'm not a lawyer, but I am pretty sure strong Hardware Patents are worth much more than bogus software patents. This means Android, Chrome OS, Google TV can stay free and open source forever. Apple and Microsoft have to drop all their bogus lawsuits against Android companies immediately. Google now has the patent on the mobile phone, the Apple iPhone can be illegal tomorrow if Google wants it to be.
What do I think Google is going to do:
1. Ask the genius team behind the Motorola Atrix to join the Android team to make a platform that combines Ice Cream Sandwich, Google TV and Chrome OS into the ultimate ARM Powered device. Provide that solution as an all-in-one standard for the Android ecosystem and not just make it one product.
2. Interview any of the other 19 thousand employees at Motorola Mobility, ask who wants to work within Android, within Google or remain within Motorola Mobility and to do what. They can invent some genius interview process so somehow everyone gets what they want and what they deserve.
3. Maybe Samsung, HTC, Sony-Ericsson or simply the stock market are later offered to buy back the Motorola Mobility Hardware division without the patents but with free unlimited licence to use any of the patents on Android devices. In 6 months, if the stock market has somewhat recovered, Google may get all their money back for that.
4. Or Google can find use in owning Motorola, perhaps ask Motorola to design hardware such as Cheap $50 Android phones to bring Android to all people in the developing world, special focus on Brazil, Russia, India, China (potentially 1-2 Billion Android phones can be sold there in 1-2 years), Google can ask Motorola design $50 ARM Powered Google TV enabled Set-top-boxes that all consumers and all Pay-TV providers are going to use.
5. Maybe Android is mature enough (owning more than 80% of the smart phone market by the end of the year), Google may want to use Motorola to launch White Spaces networks worldwide for free wireless broadband for all. $99 Android phones unlocked that include unlimited free Google Voice, unlimited free wireless broadband in every city all over the world. White Spaces are unstoppable. Maybe this is the time. They can bundle a Motorola router with the phone, you plug it to your home ADSL/Cable/Fiber to expand that White Spaces network in your neighborhood.
- $12 Billion: Why Google Is Buying Motorola Mobility (techland.time.com)
- Google to buy Motorola's mobile unit for $12.5 billion (news.consumerreports.org)
- Google-Motorola Mobility would create interesting enterprise portfolio (zdnet.com)
Arguably, the Samsung Galaxy S2 is the best phone in the world today. Samsung now also brings what looks to become a lower cost similar smartphone experience using the Tegra2 Dual-core 1Ghz processor instead of the 1.2Ghz Dual-core Exynos and using an LCD touch screen instead of the more expensive and harder to manufacture Super AMOLED Plus screen.
I played with the Samsung Galaxy S2 for a few days as I was able to borrow it during Computex, it's a very impressive phone, the screen is amazing and the processor for now seems unbeaten in terms of performance (until 1.5Ghz Dual-core OMAP4460 devices start coming out next month).
In Europe, I cannot find the Samsung Galaxy S2 sold below 458€ and in the US it seems to cost $629. Clearly, that's very expensive. But I guess, many people still consider that the normal going rate for high-end smart phones?
What is really the true manufacturing cost for Samsung on the Samsung Galaxy S2? My guess is they spend less than $200 to manufacture each phone (which is probably a bit higher than Apple and other LCD based Android smart phone makers pay per phone). Which means they are making upwards 200% profit margin on each phone. Sure enough, Samsung spends extra on making the Super AMOLED Plus screen, which they also are in the process of using their new multi-billion dollar Super AMOLED Plus factory to try to ramp up mass manufacturing to keep up with demand. But I guess that's just how things are for getting a Samsung for now. I'd find it cool if they decided to sell the Samsung Galaxy S2 for $250 unlocked or 250€, it may allow them to not loose money and gain huge market share as they increase their mass manufacturing even much further, but that may be too disruptive for the whole smart phone carrier business model yet.
Anyways, Samsung may save with Galaxy R compared to S2 (according to my pure guess) about $20 on the LCD, and perhaps about $10 on the processor and other electronics that come with the Tegra2 package. A $30 savings in Bill of Material, may translate to upwards $100 cheaper retail price. So I expect Samsung will sell the Samsung Galaxy R below 399€ and below $499 as unlocked. I do not consider the carrier subsidized pricings as I consider those more expensive, they can sometimes add up to $2500 over the 2-year contracts, which I do not consider a pricing advantage over buying the phones unlocked and then using cheaper data and voice SIM cards in there.
What do I recommend geeks who want the best regardless of the price? If you can't wait, get a Samsung Galaxy S2, don't look too much at the price tag, consider all competing big brand Android phones cost about the same. If you can wait, maybe in 1 or 2 months, the rumored Samsung Nexus Prime might be coming with Ice Cream Sandwich. I do not know if the rumors of a 720p Super AMOLED Plus 4.3" screen are realistic, or if Samsung will use the 1.5Ghz Dual-core OMAP4460 or perhaps overclock their own Dual-core Exynos platform to 1.5Ghz. I would not be surprised if the rumored Nexus Prime is more or less the same as a Samsung Galaxy S2, with very minor design changes and it just running vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich, just like the Nexus S is a copy of the Samsung Galaxy S1 and the Nexus One is a copy of the HTC Desire. The OMAP4460 Ice Cream Sandwiches might be used by LG, Motorola and other companies which may have more history in working with Texas Instruments, but who knows, maybe Texas Instruments is doing huge efforts to provide attractive package deals to all the device makers and that they all feel they cannot afford to miss the non-exclusive TI OMAP4460 based opportunity.
TheInquirer recently quoted analysts saying that Samsung has now overtaken Apple and has become the worlds biggest smart phone maker.
Samsung might have sold more smartphones than Apple and Nokia during April, May and June
With phones like the Samsung Nexus Prime, Galaxy R, cheaper Galaxy phones (2, 3) targetted at pre-paid and developing countries (including focus on BRIC, Brazil, Russia, India, China), the new Super AMOLED Plus factory being ready for increased mass production, Samsung's rise in smart phone market share is likely to only increase. Consider that with just Samsung's Android smart phones, there are more sales than the iPhone, consider how much more Android smart phones sell overall compared to iPhone when all the other many growing Android smart phone makers are put together. I think it is not ridiculous to expect a 1/4 ratio in daily sales to be demonstrated pretty soon, likely before Christmas, regardless of how many current iPhone owners decide to upgrade to the iPhone5.
- Another Big Bang? Samsung debuts Galaxy R smartphone (gigaom.com)
- Samsung Galaxy R official - NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core CPU, 4.2 inch display, & 5 megapixel camera goodness (intomobile.com)
- Samsung roadmap leaks, suggests Ice Cream Sandwich, 720P smartphones and more (9to5google.com)
- LEAKED Samsung Roadmap Reveals New Tablet and Smartphones ... Galaxy S2 Appears? (buyitorfryit.com)
- Samsung Debuts the Galaxy R, A Mid-Level Android Phone (wired.com)
White Spaces new unlicenced 802.22TM-2011 standard can replace all carriers and provide free wireless broadband worldwide for all
Bloggers are talking about using White Spaces for connecting rural areas to broadband, citing specs such as "transmissions speeds topping out at 22 Mbps per channel, with a range of up to 100 kilometers". That is great and all, bravo. But what I have been suggesting for years, please write comments if you know more or better, is that White Spaces can also be used in all cities to rapidly replace the need for cell phone carriers completely! Consider this scenario:
1. Next month, someone, perhaps Google or Martin Varsavsky's fon release a cheap low voltage short antennae $20 White Spaces router, one that everyone is encouraged to connect as any other WiFi router at home.
2. Clever online White Spaces anti-interference and bandwidth-management maps are used to automatically set the voltage for each White Spaces WiFi on stereoids hotspot, to not create any interference in the city and also cover as much of the city area as possible.
3. All users connect using FON.com method, all White Spaces hotspots are broadcasting open hotspots but without providing actual internet access until each user gets reliably authenticated, for example using username/password method. In devices you can save your username/password so you always automatically connect.
4. Bandwidth is thus throttled cleverly as there is more or less demand in any given area. And owners of each hotspot can of course decide to prioritize the bandwidth for their own consumption and only give out whichever unused bandwidth on this shared White Spaces sharing network. Basically, as owner of a White Spaces hotspot, you can never even know that your home bandwidth is being used by people walking by in the streets outside your appartment, as long as you need bandwidth yourself in your home your own usage is always fully prioritized.
5. Because of net neutrality, internet service providers can not legally try to block or throttle this type of usage. One can do whatever one wants to do with ones home bandwidth. This is nothing else than wanting to roam the world for free by sharing ones own home bandwidth with the neighborhood.
6. The higher the demand for bandwidth, the smaller each White Spaces hotspot is dynamically made, by lowering the voltage of each hotspot to lower its coverage diameter.
7. With about 1000 such White Spaces hotspots, at a cost of about $20 each (if those cost not much more than WiFi routers to mass manufacture), it means that for about $20 thousand, users can totally cover any city with free wireless broadband for all. And as more and more bandwidth is required, simply more hotspots are added and purchased by the users themselves.
8. Micro-payments for better bandwidth prioritization can also be added somehow. If Fiber providers decide to try to improve bandwidth in this city-wide White Spaces network, those should be able to easily sell such premium bandwidth by the Gygabyte. So while some basic bandwidth for VOIP and other such basic use may mostly be free for all users, someone who may not be sharing bandwidth at home, may have to pay something like $0.10/GB for some prioritized bandwidth. The micro-payments can also work automatically with one payment standard for the world, one simple "Pay $__ for __GB bandwidth in region __ OK/No" standard for the world.
So what do you networking experts say, are we just about to enter a new world where cell phone carriers become unnecessary, but where everyone shares White Spaces from their home using types of Fem2Cell and simple White Spaces routers and even White Spaces mesh networking?
Larry Page, Google CEO, talking about White Spaces in September 2008:
- White space standards pubbed, bring on the devices! (gigaom.com)
- IEEE wraps up standard for 22Mbps white space wireless (electronista.com)
- TV White-Space Networks Get Smart (spectrum.ieee.org)
Last I heard, Texas Instruments said it might start sampling OMAP5 in October already, in testing and demo development boards before Mobile World Congress in February and target to be launched in consumer commercial products by Christmas 2012, within about a year and a half from now. In the following video, Nandan Nayampally, ARM's Director of CPU Product Marketing says:
With ARM's Cortex-A15, the smartphone or mobile device can take the next step of becoming a Complete computing and content creation platform.
I find it amazing that with such amazingly awesome ARM Cortex-A9 designs, clocked higher, added cores, just barely reaching the market, we can already also look forward to even greater performance and more features to come in devices just a year or so later.
My question is for the type of "Complete computing and content creation platform" that someone could define as for example a basic laptop, for example running Chrome OS, Ubuntu, Windows 8 or an ARM version of Mac OSX, can we expect those ARM Powered Laptops to have enough performance in ARM Cortex-A9 designs or do we still have to wait for ARM Cortex-A15 for ARM Laptops to replace Intel?
While the promise of Cortex-A8 Smartbooks shown at Computex 2009 just over 2 years ago didn't actually launch on the market, probably because of a lack in performance, I hope we will see optimal Cortex-A9 and other custom Dual-core, Tri-core and Quad-core designs released this year that will hopefully feel to have enough performance to feel just as fast at least as an Intel Atom Netbook.
Once ARM has that level of "Complete computing" performance covered and actual products such as just basic Laptops and Desktops on the mass market using that and that consumers don't see those as "slower", then ARM can also bring forward all it's other advantages in being lower power, cheaper, simpler, customizable, etc.
I feel that the immersive internet computing interfaces like Tablets and Smartphones of course are fantastic and awesome, and kudos for ARM for dominating in that, but it would be nice also to see ARM power just some basic Laptops and Desktops also and have those replace a big part of consumer electronics "Complete computing" devices previously only based on x86.
Innovative new touch screen interfaces, eventual Kinect style gesture controls, voice commands, all that are cool, but perhaps it won't actually be possible to do the next "Complete computing" devices using anything more than just a basic Laptop keyboard, mousepad and screen, at least when it comes to being a "content creation platform".
My expectation is that the next devices based on ARM Cortex-A9 and other Dual-core designs such as OMAP4460/OMAP4470, i.MX6Duo/Quad, MSM8660/8960, Marvell 628, Ziilabs ZMS-20/40, Exynos 4210 (or a Laptop optimized higher clocked version of that), an Apple A5 optimized for Laptop use, of course the Nvidia Tegra3 Kal-El Quad-core, I expect all those to have fast enough memory bandwidth designs, fast RAM support, ample enough processing speed and other hardware acceleration required to run a full web browser centric OS like Chrome OS, Windows 8 and even ARM optimized versions of Ubuntu and OSX. I expect that the ARM Laptops can start to take 25% of Intel's x86 Laptop market this year with Cortex-A9 designs and that they can dominate with over 50% of the marketshare against Intel x86 sales with the Cortex-A15 designs performance reach next year!
The new Dual-core and Quad-core ARM Processors that are coming out in the newest ARM Powered Smartphones, Tablets and Set-top-boxes in the coming months can display more than 200 million triangles per second! The 5-year old PS3 does 250 million triangles a second. XboX 360 does 500 million triangles a second. So in terms of performance, the graphics improvements on ARM Powered devices are absolutely amazing. Graphics performance on ARM processors seems to be more than doubling each year. Consider that the ARM Powered device probably uses 100x less power than the PS3 or XboX 360! One theory why Sony disables HDMI output on PSVita may be because the $249 Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 Powered PSVita may actually be more powerful for gaming than the 5-year-old $299 Cell Processor based PS3!
Here are some of the angles that may make of Android the near futures biggest home and portable console platform:
- Any small game developer can easily release their games to a global audience without asking anyone. Gamers can also install whichever game they want (legally or ilegally) just by downloading the .apk downloaded from any website.
- All manufacturers can make the Android gaming devices, not just Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.
3. Lower prices
- More manufacturers competing means lower prices and better features. Also, Google can start a global gaming all-access pass, something like $10/month for hard core gamers to gain access to all the games as much as they want. Who would want to pay $50/game through retailers anymore?
4. Remove intermediaries
- Games in the age of the internet are meant to be downloaded from the Internet. No more need to distribute physical disks at retail stores. Even for big games that take up several gigabytes, the games can be downloaded through p2p with no central distribution cost.
5. Emulation of all previous consoles
- New Dual-core and Quad-core Android devices can probably emulate all the previous Nintendo, Sony consoles, I expect even N64, Dreamcast and PS2 games to get emulated smoothly. This means tens of thousands of games are thus (legally or ilegally) available to all Android gamers. Even the oldest Nintendo NES console games released 25 years ago are as cool as Angry Birds, and SNES games released nearly 20 years ago have about the same quality level of graphics as Angry Birds. This means through (legal or illegal) emulation, from day 1, Android devices can have about 1000 blockbuster games as good as Angry Birds.
Nintendo is awesome.
Yet I feel they try too hard to hold onto old business models that consist of centrally distributing the games on disks through retailers. And they may believe too strongly that only themselves must control the gaming hardware, that they would not legally allow other hardware makers to play their games.
Nintendo needs to forget about retailers and they need to embrace everyone elses hardware. Nintendo needs to distribute all their games as downloads, provide legal access to all their games on Android for that sub-$10/month global gaming subscription plan. This would instantly provide Nintendo with Billions of dollars of pure new profit. They can still release new consoles, they can even release reference designs and certification branding "Certified by Nintendo" for how they think Android devices should be designed to provide the best gaming user interfaces and performance.
The Nintendo Wii U announced this week at E3, seems to be an upgraded HD capable Wii with a new controller that basically seems to be an ARM Powered 6.2" capacitive tablet, with perhaps not much local processing going on with most of the 3D game processing happening on the IBM Power PC powered Wii U console, thus the new Wii Controller may act most as some kind of remote input and display device designed to have minimal latency.
Wii U is going to be awesome and all. And I want a Quad-Core PSVita for $249 this Christmas, I just think both are kind of sad in their closed philosophy. Those are basically awesome ARM Powered hardwares which just aren't designed to take full advantage of their potential, they have features blocked or removed in them because Nintendo and Sony believe only in their previous-century business models, sad.
But who knows, Nintendo and Sony still have time to adjust their plans. They still both may take full advantage of Android opportunity and feel they need to open up towards it instead of ignoring it.
- Live Blog: Nintendo Unveils New Console at E3 (blogs.wsj.com)
- Nintendo's task: The Wii, again, more, better (sfgate.com)