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Microsoft CPUs?

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October 19, 2006 1:53:54 PM

"Microsoft Looks Within to Design and Test Chips" link

Fascinating. There was some talk last year after the Intel/Apple alliance was announced that Intel might eventually want to gobble up Apple. Intel also open sourced their GPU drivers for Linux.

More about : microsoft cpus

October 19, 2006 2:10:25 PM

Usually I'd say that this is another area Micorsoft would just take over, but if they will use an x86 type processor, then there might be more than just AMD and Intel in the CPU market.
I guess:
Competition < No Competition = Good Prices
More Competition < Competition < No Competion = Even better prices

Then again it could turn out to be a VIA or Transmeta type debacle.... :?
October 19, 2006 2:11:26 PM

The Inquirer :roll: is also reporting that Nvidia is working on a combined CPU/GPU to compete with AMD/ATI and Intel

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=35216

I can't really see the logic in MS entering the CPU market, they have very little hardware experience. Still, if by the end of the decade we have Intel, AMD/ATI, MS and Nvidia all releasing CPU's then the competition will certainly be good for the consumer.
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October 19, 2006 2:21:10 PM

I can definately see the purpose of M$ starting up with CPU design. It is a logical extension to their software business. What does software run on? Hardware. If M$ can develop the CPU for the next xbox in house then my guess is it will be alot easier for them to program the system and they would also control more costs. It is a very interesting prospect, one which I will be willing to buy into.
October 19, 2006 2:27:18 PM

I also agree it seems plausible. But I have trouble thinking their chips will compete (performance wise) anywhere but in the low end of AMD/Intel if M$ chose to attempt to join the consumer market.

I see M$ going more of a "in-house" direction. But cool for us nonetheless.
October 19, 2006 2:44:04 PM

I agree! I will definatly buy into this if the performance is there. I think it will be interesting and fun to watch the development of a new competitor, especially when we know that microsoft has the funding to stay in it and there is no reason to think that AMD/Intel will just run them out of the game, because that is just something that cannot be dont to microsoft at this point! (IMO)

Best,

3Ball
October 19, 2006 2:47:52 PM

I highly doubt MS will start designing chips, since the cost of fabs and R&D are so high. I don't doubt that MS will have the assests to do it, but I doubt they will start from scratch. I just don't know who they would buy out or acquire in order to get into the game though... maybe VIA, shrug.

Then again, MS is going all over the place. I'm getting kind of scared by the power they weild...
October 19, 2006 3:02:54 PM

Sign me up,first M$ chip buyin,its the best,intel/amd who? fanboi :) 
October 19, 2006 3:27:51 PM

If MS Goes into the chip business, they will be almost out of business soon.

MS has a history of intentionally designing their software to be incompatible with software from competitors. We are not talking about failing to ensure compatibility, we are talking about adding code to make things work worse.

If they go into the chip business, they will likely maintain the course and add code to make other CPUs work less well.

The result is that Linux will quickly become mainstream.
I just dont think MS is just that smart.
MS is successful in the corporate world because knowledge of Windows comes from home users.

MS may have kiddies pirating Windows, but those little kiddies soon shape what companies buy and use. If they do with Vista what they want, the kiddies will be running Linux.

I see MS doing the same thing with CPUs - Forcing peple to Linux by writing code to make other CPUs to work less well.

Linux is not better for the home user today in general, but MS is doing its best to make that the case.
October 19, 2006 3:57:49 PM

i agree
knowing microsoft a lil bit, i think when they would pull this off and have success with it, they would design windows to work only properly with their own processors.
so i hope they stay out of this business
October 19, 2006 4:07:29 PM

Intel is already opening up a lot of their hardware for third party companies to use since AMD's Torenza platform poses a very significant threat.

If we can only have something like that against Microsoft, too bad Linux doesn't really have a real base behind it.

But all in all, I like Windows, not much to complain about, and even if there are some things that can make it better, I still doubt anyone can make a better overall system than Windows.
October 19, 2006 4:29:26 PM

Quote:
If we can only have something like that against Microsoft, too bad Linux doesn't really have a real base behind it.

They have a real base, at least i would call IBM, Apple, Novell etc a real base. They just lack direction. And since they are competitors, they will never get that.
October 19, 2006 4:32:45 PM

And what does it cost to build a Fab these days?
October 19, 2006 4:34:31 PM

/agreed

20 years of windows.... and they still have 90%+ of the market... (ok Idk actual figures but you get the point) They have to be doing something right. People speak more with their dollars than they do with their words. If you don't like M$ go linux but you can bet on M$ retaining a very very large market share with Vista. Linux keeps M$ on its toes in some areas, but it will never have the sheer appeal that M$ has, sorry.

--side note:

Does anyone actually believe M$ is dumb enough to create an OS specifically for their own chip and leave the world out to dry? Wow, you are naive. Forcing people away from Intel would be the quickest way to drastically reduce market share for their products... come on now, common sense please.
October 19, 2006 4:35:51 PM

I agree, Windows is a nice OS. Its my fav of the 3...


Anyways, I could live with an MS CPU. But not for windows. more for the Xbox, like how Sony did the emotion engine/cell.( though the Cell has IBm helping them...) But if they push it for the PC market, NO. It would have no brand recognizability, and unless they somehow made some super CPU, it wouldnt get much market share...
October 19, 2006 4:37:22 PM

I doubt M$ would get into this business but you never know with them
October 19, 2006 5:00:25 PM

Very interesting. I hate to say this but MS could benefit from the long term cost savings of creating a chip for future versions of the xbox and any other devices they may choose to endorse. I do not forsee a mainstream chip from them unless it is for low end computers to sell to low income families and economically struggling countries. I can't remember the name of that initiative. But the downside is the cost of the software, so scratch that idea. What ever thay decide to do they will defintely make a spectical of it. :wink:
October 19, 2006 5:47:47 PM

Quote:
And what does it cost to build a Fab these days?


The last thing I heard it was about 5-10 billion to build a fab so that part is doable from Microsoft's point of view.
October 19, 2006 5:58:22 PM

So it doesn´t stop with "Designed for Windows XP", it has to be "Windows inside"?!?!?!?

Heck... 8O
October 19, 2006 6:38:27 PM

Quote:
So it doesn´t stop with "Designed for Windows XP", it has to be "Windows inside"?!?!?!?

Heck... 8O


Atleast it'll run Vista okay, I guess.... :?
October 19, 2006 7:21:06 PM

Maybe I just need a nap, but what does this quote from the link mean?

"and computing functions are increasingly hidden in consumer devices,"
October 19, 2006 7:27:24 PM

LOL...that would be the NY Times alright. Can you say The Inquirer? :lol: 
October 19, 2006 8:03:19 PM

Processors optimized for Visual Basic I can't wait!
October 19, 2006 8:38:45 PM

Nvidia is rumored to make cpu and Intel as well. I'd say this is a very good thing to happen and I hope it will. More selection and probable better price as well. :D 
October 19, 2006 8:46:36 PM

How come everyone and their mom are starting to make processors... the whole nVidia's making x86 cpu's is tiring me out too... It would be big news if any of these companies tried, but if they actually did, the first thing I would do is sell all my shares and invest in their competitors because it would also be stupid as hell right now. I don't see any of these companies coming close to making anything that can beat the Conroe... in fact, even if Microsoft dropped everything it was working on, put all its assests into circuit design, they still might come close to something, but they'd be bankrupt before anything comes out of it.
October 19, 2006 8:55:10 PM

If they were trying to build a pure X86 processor I might agree, maybe, but I don't think that's what they are going for. I think they are going for a special purpose CPU, much like the Cell, except they will design a good chip, unlike Sony. Sony's proc is so hard to program for, with the 7 sub units off the major head unit for a total of 8 headaches. M$ is the master of software (maybe, maybe not but they put out alot of it) and if they start with the software in mind, we could see some impressive things out of a special purpose CPU. Generic X86 CPU would probably be a bad idea, it should be interesting what plays out.
October 19, 2006 9:36:14 PM

Quote:
Usually I'd say that this is another area Micorsoft would just take over, but if they will use an x86 type processor, then there might be more than just AMD and Intel in the CPU market.
I guess:
Competition < No Competition = Good Prices
More Competition < Competition < No Competion = Even better prices

Then again it could turn out to be a VIA or Transmeta type debacle.... :?


I think its great. Finally we will have a processor to match the MS Windows OS. Overcomplicated, slow, expensive and full of holes. Oh, wait, weve had those AMD K6 and Heatburst.

Hmmm, maybe some one should notify MS that crappy CPUs have already been done. :roll:
October 19, 2006 10:11:34 PM

Quote:
/agreed

20 years of windows.... and they still have 90%+ of the market... (ok Idk actual figures but you get the point) They have to be doing something right. People speak more with their dollars than they do with their words. If you don't like M$ go linux but you can bet on M$ retaining a very very large market share with Vista. Linux keeps M$ on its toes in some areas, but it will never have the sheer appeal that M$ has, sorry.


Yeah they started the GUI thing for the most part for PCs, but that doesn't make it the best. IMO, if game companies started making games for linux/mac, they'd shed a pretty good chunk of market share right there. That's the only thing keeping me in windows, that's why they're pushing DX10. Remember MS used to be part of the OpenGL board, but they left it. This would just add to their vendor lock-in, which is what they want.
October 19, 2006 10:20:58 PM

Actually, I think it was Xerox that originally had the GUI that Apple stole and when MS stole it next Apple tried to stop them. We've all seen how that went. Maybe if Apple hadn't been so money hungry initially, we'd all be typing this stuff on "Apple compatible" computers instead of "IBM compatible" units (for the most part).
October 19, 2006 11:15:49 PM

i have a windows phone which i like but it just cant compete for power with the likes of the psp, Intel has moved out of the market and if ms want to sell ppc then they need good hardware if ms can push the tech forward ether buy licensing tech to smaller players or direct competition then it would befit them in more than one way!

also with rumors about a mobile xbox or gaming zune and even umpc ms may think that an in house cpu could be the answer.

i fail to see the logic of jumping in to the x86 market directly there is no way a ms cpu would run osx and would be very unpopular with all you Linux users out there so they would be at a market loss to start with, it is more likely i would have thought that the could develop tech then license it in this market!
October 19, 2006 11:16:44 PM

well, m$ does have .net and MSIL (microsoft intermediate langauge). It would be easy (realativly speaking) to design a special purpose cpu for msil.

google MSIL and you will learn that msil is based on the theory of stack machines. google stack machines and you will learn they are easy to develop in hardware or software...

could they beat native x86/x64 code on an x86/x64 processor? imho no
but combined x86/x64+ms msil proc + windows & .net and you'd have an extremly powerful system.


damn its hard to type with one hand. I broke the other one.
-Jeff
October 19, 2006 11:46:09 PM

I dont doubt it. they have more than enough resources to start from scratch, but if they do I would assume they bought someone first. I dought they would buy intel or amd of course. maybe motorola or even IBM. They made the 2 xbox chisp by the way.
October 20, 2006 2:44:39 AM

Unlike nVidia, i could see Microsoft doing this(they won't) but they sure would have the $$$ for this. I doubt this would happen overnight and it might take 5-7 years before anything good came out of it. More choices, lower prices, better performance, i sure would love to see that.
October 20, 2006 3:19:00 AM

Quote:
Usually I'd say that this is another area Micorsoft would just take over, but if they will use an x86 type processor, then there might be more than just AMD and Intel in the CPU market.
I guess:
Competition < No Competition = Good Prices
More Competition < Competition < No Competion = Even better prices

Then again it could turn out to be a VIA or Transmeta type debacle.... :?



Even MS doesn't have that kind of money. The article quotes that they want the next XBox chip not a PC.

Intel and AMD would kill them even if they reverse-engineered AMD64. It would take 2-4 years, cost $10B dollars and flop in the PC market (MS wouldn't be Apple).

A specialty chip could be designed for Torrenza maybe or the supposed open initiative Intel is said to be undertaking, but PCs.

:oops: 
October 20, 2006 3:20:45 AM

Quote:
Processors optimized for Visual Basic I can't wait!


You mean Torrenza based coProcs. MS would die in the X86 market.
October 20, 2006 7:42:38 AM

Yeah, they don't have the assets to pay for a chip... they only have almost 7 billion in cash and cash equivalents. Let's compare, they are on par with Intel in equivalent cash, give or take 350 million, but at that level of cash who is counting? M$ has the assets and the capital, but I severally doubt they are going generic x86, rather special purpose CPU. M$ never fails at anything they do, except Windows ME. The only thing they do is succeed less than optimally, and then second generation they come back with the thunder, case and point Xbox 360, out a year before PS3 and its just a damn good system.

Who has my drink....
October 20, 2006 9:07:06 AM

I for one can’t wait to install slackware or FreeBSD on a M$ processor based system. 8)
October 20, 2006 9:51:54 AM

considering the Zune can't playback protected WMA correctly, maybe not.
a c 99 à CPUs
October 20, 2006 3:33:21 PM

You opened up an avenue that I didn't think of right off the bat. We all know that MS is the dominant OS, by far. People buy hardware that their software runs on, not the other way around, so I could easily see MS making a CPU with a new, incompatible ISA and that Windows is only compiled for the new arch.

That would literally give MS a huge chunk of the hardware market overnight, but I highly doubt that they'd be allowed to do it. They would be forced by the feds to either release an x86 version of Windows or license their ISA for a not (too) exorbitant sum because that would be abusing a monopoly in the worst sense if they could get away with it.

So unless the FTC falls or MS can pay them off, you'll never see MS make a CPU that isn't x86-compatible OR fail to release an OS that runs on x86.
a c 99 à CPUs
October 20, 2006 3:40:56 PM

If it was the fastest and least expensive CPU, many makers made rather standard ATX/uATX boards for it (i.e. no expensive, only-made-by-MS board), and it would run Linux, sure, I'd have no problem running Linux on an MS CPU. I am not a huge fan of MS's current OSes but if they do a good CPU, why not? I was not a huge fan of Intel's NetBurst CPUs and FSB architecture would never, but their NICs are good and I bought an Intel NIC to go in an AMD-based computer and an ATi GPU to go into an NVIDIA-chipset computer. You buy what the best is at the moment, unless you happen to have a big beef with the company itself.
October 20, 2006 4:05:12 PM

Quote:
And what does it cost to build a Fab these days?


The last thing I heard it was about 5-10 billion to build a fab so that part is doable from Microsoft's point of view.

The problem is, you need about 4 fabs just to be an entry player, 8 or more to control your own destiny. You will always have some capacity lost in transition to next technology and feature size. Some of your fabs will be on the older tech to support legacy products. The world's supply of rent-a-fabs is not enough to allow another major player of AMD's size or larger. They usually lag the tech curve anyway. I doubt Intel would rent any wafer boats to a CPU competitor.
October 20, 2006 4:20:00 PM

It would be possible for MS to "partner" with a company that has fab capacity, there are several companies that just design the chips and have them "fabbed" by another company or partner. All MS would have to do is say "Here's advance notice or "roadmap" for upcoming software, you could start designing chips for this new functionality....in exchange for making chips for MS...."

These are deals that happen all the time internationally.
October 20, 2006 4:30:31 PM

If they begin to make CPUs, will they change their name to "Microhard"? 8O
October 20, 2006 4:46:50 PM

well, they can't change it to "Microchip", that's already taken.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
October 20, 2006 5:09:35 PM

My take is that they will make a Torenza co-proc to run Vista smoothly

:lol: 
October 20, 2006 5:13:18 PM

@ subject...

Gawd.. maybe AMD/ATI, Intel, Nvidia should make us OS's to run besides MS. :lol: 
October 20, 2006 5:29:32 PM

maybe..... MS and Nvidia are looking into new 'specialty' chips to plug into upcoming multicore boards aka 4x4 ?

just a thought...
October 20, 2006 5:57:29 PM

Quote:
Yeah, they don't have the assets to pay for a chip... they only have almost 7 billion in cash and cash equivalents. Let's compare, they are on par with Intel in equivalent cash, give or take 350 million, but at that level of cash who is counting? M$ has the assets and the capital, but I severally doubt they are going generic x86, rather special purpose CPU. M$ never fails at anything they do, except Windows ME. The only thing they do is succeed less than optimally, and then second generation they come back with the thunder, case and point Xbox 360, out a year before PS3 and its just a damn good system.

Who has my drink....



Actually MS has about $30B in cash, but that won' help them. They are not used to $3B Fabs and the higher costs of operation including engineers. They could waste $10B on it and get killed. NO OEM would buy Windows and a CPU from MS.

The chip will be for the next XBox.
October 20, 2006 6:54:02 PM

Quote:
Processors optimized for Visual Basic I can't wait!


You mean Torrenza based coProcs. MS would die in the X86 market.
Stupid AMD fanboy troll, your dumb antilogic in your tight scull fails to realize:
0. There are no commont points between "Torrenza based coprocessors" and "processors optimized for Visual Basic".
1. MS is the most dominant company in the x86 market for more than 20 years.
2. Torrezna will be a platform, one of houndreds allready existing platforms.
3. The more you post, the dumber you are.
4. Drugs kills

Quote:
Processors optimized for Visual Basic I can't wait!

All VS.NET languages are using the same .NET librarires and are equal fast. If MS are going to optimize their CPUs, they'll do optimize for the .NET framework.
October 20, 2006 7:16:21 PM

Quote:
It would be possible for MS to "partner" with a company that has fab capacity, there are several companies that just design the chips and have them "fabbed" by another company or partner. All MS would have to do is say "Here's advance notice or "roadmap" for upcoming software, you could start designing chips for this new functionality....in exchange for making chips for MS...."

These are deals that happen all the time internationally.


If there was more rent-a-fab capacity available that was at a current tech level, AMD would already be all over it. Everything that is available is old tech or low capacity.

Also, adding a third major CPU maker would come close to driving the CPU to commodity status. No one would make money if all three were successful.

Most importantly:
M$ has made their money by staying out of the hardware race. They simply stand back and apply the OS tax to every system sold.
!