05.19.11

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Microsoft is Living and Dying in x86 Land

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 12:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Board hardware

Summary: Usage trends, notably mobility and compactness, drive hardware changes, which in turn leave Microsoft Windows in the innovator’s dilemma, inevitably resulting in its demise

ARM has been causing Intel a lot of trouble. AMD too cannot be enjoying it. A lot of the devices sold today (largely Linux-based) no longer run on this aging architecture of theirs. Vista 8 has been hailed as the mythical operating system that would run on ARM, but just to explain how much of a vapourware/hype it really is, consider the fact that Vista 8 has no useful plans for third-party developers. The monocultural and binary culture of Microsoft is killing its business and this one news article says: “You won’t see the desktop version of Photoshop or Firefox or Chrome or World of Warcraft on your Windows 8 ARM device, either — not unless there’s enough adoption to justify the expense of compiling an entirely new build; and who knows whether ARM chips are powerful enough to run applications that are usually found on x86 computers?”

To clarify, it’s a proprietary software issue, as the source code is not available. Debian, by contrast, does not have such a problem.

Will from our IRC channels wrote that “Windows on ARM will not run legacy software: Microsoft has promised their Office suite on ARM, but nothing more. Ok, so explain to me why anyone would chose Windows on ARM, which will NOT have any of the legacy software that keeps Windows on life support these days, over some version of Linux on ARM, in which you have a wealth of free software only a recompile away?”

Here is another article about this:

Microsoft may be porting Windows 8 to the ARM architecture, but the general manager of Intel’s software and services group insists she’s not losing any sleep over a bruising battle in a more-competitive arena. At least when it comes to PCs.

Speaking on Tuesday at Intel’s Investor Meeting 2011 in Santa Clara, California, Renée James pointed out that the next version of Windows – popularly known as Windows 8 – will be available in versions for both x86 and ARM. There will be a “Windows 8 traditional”, she said, that will run on x86 chips and handle “legacy applications”, meaning existing x86-based Windows apps, and there will be a separate version of the OS that runs on ARM. Windows 8 traditional, she explained, will include a “Windows 7 mode”.

Mr. Pogson says that Microsoft is dying because the lock-in is dying. People can now buy Android devices.

The monopoly has relied on retail lock-in for decades. It’s gone. It’s dead. These small, not-so-cheap computers are flying off retail shelves as fast as they can be stocked and there is increasing growth rate…

Suffice to say, Microsoft has resorted to patent litigation against Linux because it cannot conceive or imagine any other ways to win (which it won’t).

“Gates’s refusal to adopt Adobe’s technology had something to do with money—Gates was not feeling cash rich in 1984—but it had even more to do with Gates’s persistent delusion that Windows be like the Mac.”

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul

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6 Comments

  1. Will said,

    May 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Gravatar

    “Windows 8 traditional, she explained, will include a “Windows 7 mode”.

    Something just occurred to me:

    Will Windows 8 also have an “XP mode” for legacy software like Windows 7 does? Or an “XP mode” inside “Windows 7 mode”?

    I imagine there will be a lot of XP-era software around that still doesn’t run under Windows 7 even after Windows 8 releases.

    J.H. Reply:

    Makes you wonder, what the heck are they changing in the OS, that each subsequent release requires a ‘mode’ of the previous version to run older software?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    New wallpapers.

    twitter Reply:

    The kill off is intentional and mostly for digital restrictions. Everything in Vista is geared towards Microsoft’s “trusted path”, end to end encryption even for internal bus traffic. This required a new driver model that broke and mostly put all older software into a “not trusted” bin. Peter Gutmann wrote an excellent technical analysis of Vista’s digital restrictions and how these harmed all x86 hardware. I blogged the inevitable consequences and failure.

    Windows 7 is just a facelift for Vista’s ugly core and Windows 8 will be much the same. It took Microsoft six years to make Vista back when they had all the advantages of a monopoly position and a seemingly endless cash flow. They squandered that position to pursue insane and evil restrictions. Emulation mode in Windows 7, from what I’m told, is mostly a waste of time. The system is fundamentally hostile, designed to restrict, spy and control.

  2. Agent_Smith said,

    May 20, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Gravatar

    Oh, oh, winblow$ 8 will be like the old winblow$ CE – It had IE, a stripped down version of M$ Office. And… It was about it. No 3rd party programs, no nothing. Very poor platform.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I liked the following selected quotes from Groklaw:

    “However James spent a lot longer promoting Linux-based alternatives and went further by saying that Intel got into the Linux game early, and he noted that the firm is a “key definer of Linux evolution”. James also mentioned that Intel is the second biggest contributor to Linux kernel development. Remember, this is Linux, the software that was likened to cancer by Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer.

    “So while a few analysts seem to be worried about Intel’s health following Microsoft’s launch of Windows 8 with ARM architecture support, Intel’s own forecasts show that Microsoft’s operating system market share will be on the slide.”

    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2071996/intel-invokes-linux-calm-fears-windows-arm#ixzz1MuZpea48

    “Microsoft can’t exactly fire Intel as a partner. So instead, it offered the following denial:

    “”Intel’s statements during yesterday’s Intel Investor Meeting about Microsoft’s plans for the next version of Windows were factually inaccurate and unfortunately misleading. From the first demonstrations of Windows on SoC, we have been clear about our goals and have emphasized that we are at the technology demonstration stage. As such, we have no further details or information at this time.”

    “”No further details or information” means that Microsoft won’t say exactly which parts of James’s statements were inaccurate. The part about legacy apps? The part about four versions of Windows for ARM? Both? Expect Microsoft to explain itself more fully at its September conference for developers.”

    http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-says-intel-exec-was-wrong-about-windows-8-2011-5?op=1

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