Win8 Will Push ARM into 40% of Netbooks By 2015

There was a time when Intel and AMD were butting heads just about every week, fighting to gain the hearts of general consumers, gamers and enthusiasts alike. Then AMD seemingly took a step back to handle personal business and to let Intel thrive on the market, enough so that the competitor gathered its troops to invade the mobile sector. Now the war seems to be between ARM and Intel as the former invades the space of the latter and vice versa.

Tuesday ARM chief executive officer Tudor Brown said that Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 OS – which we saw running on ARM-based SoCs back in January – will actually push its technology into 40-percent of the market's netbooks by 2015. He also estimated that ARM will command 85-percent of the tablet market in that same year.

According to Brown, ARM tried to enter the netbook sector once before with the launch of the Smartbook, but demand for the device was weak because consumers expected the same compatibility and performance seen with traditional laptops. He also said that consumers found the Android OS difficult to work with (even though Google's mobile OS wasn't built for the netbook environment).

But with Windows 8, he believes that ARM will finally be able to break into the netbook sector successfully, creating a brand new demand driver. The duo will seemingly take the emphasis off solving heating problems caused by current (Intel) x86 solutions and drive industry innovation, thus resulting in even lighter, cheaper, and longer lasting battery standards.

Later this month, netbooks shipping with Google's Chrome OS will begin to infiltrate the market. This should offer a more natural, native computing experience than those previously shipped with the Android OS. And as Softpedia points out, the biggest lure to netbooks is their overall lightweight appeal – lightweight in OS, price and weight while offering longer battery life.

Naturally Intel and AMD won't just step aside and let ARM walk on in uninvited. Intel has already cranked up its process technology for the Atom processors, and AMD is getting ready to launch its "Desna" Fusion SoC designed specifically for tablets. Both are working like mad scientists in lowering the thermal and power draws to match ARM's current level. ARM, on the other hand, is calling their bluff by cranking up the performance of its tech to meet the x86 giants.

Let the games for your wallet begin.

  • BluntObjection
    So long as they add a box of crayons to the deal so I can draw a better Win8 GUI for myself, I'm game.
  • burnley14
    The duo will seemingly take the emphasis off solving heating problems caused by current (Intel) x86 solutions and drive industry innovation, thus resulting in even lighter, cheaper, and longer lasting battery standards.

    And this is why I'm excited.
  • danwat1234
    Mobile Intel chips already run darn cool when idle and ARM chips will take a good bit of power when the utilization is @ 100% just like Intel's chips.
    Intel will still be the leader because who wants to buy a netbook that is basically a Motorola Atrix dock (with internal computer)? I can't run any generic PC software on it, so it's a super phone dock - like - device. Stupid and meant for newbies!

    Give me a real computer please. One that has over 10,000,000 'apps' for it ??

  • milktea
    The thing is that we are moving towards 64-bit computing, and there aren't too many 64-bit apps right now. So it's pretty much a fresh start for both ARM and Intel in terms of available apps. :)
  • eddieroolz
    Frankly, as long as ARM processors give me better battery life in a smaller package and don't sacrifice too much processing power, then I'm sold. I wouldn't mind it a single bit if ARM took over the entire netbook market.
  • jhansonxi
    It will be interesting to see how many Windows programmers port applications to ARM. They will have to see significant demand to support anything other than x86. Even if the development tools are idiot-proof it will still add to their overhead with testing and technical support.

    If there isn't significant third-party support then Win8ARM will end up running the same cross-platform apps that Linux distros already offer. This will mean that Windows just increases OEM overhead without offering any benefits. You would have to be seriously dedicated to IE and Wordpad to be satisfied with just the standard included apps.

    Any bets on all of Office being ported? In spite of the announcement I'm not expecting more than a stripped-down version of Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Flameout
    ARM = thumb up

    Windows 8 = thumbs down + horrible + gag
  • livebriand
    BluntObjectionSo long as they add a box of crayons to the deal so I can draw a better Win8 GUI for myself, I'm game.I've got a better idea. Here's how it goes.
    1. Get Windows 7
    2. Use some resource hacker to change some of the icons if you want to.
    3. Change the "Windows 7" text to "Windows 8".
    4. Use some optimization tips.

    That's what Windows 8 really should be - NOT windows 7 with a stupid useless tablet interface.
  • lifelesspoet
    blah blah blah. Ive heard this all before. They get us excited over a new product that promises somethivg better and marketing brings a less useful product to market and changes the game, I'm looking at you ipad.
  • shompa
    We are moving to 64bit? I have been using 64bit since 1995! It is just X86 that is playing with 64bit extensions. The extensions instead of a real 64bit chip is the reason why you don't see any performance gains by going from 32bit to 64 bit on X86.
    ARM in other hand doesn't have 64 bit at all. But this should not be a problem since it is a PowePC chip. Like I wrote.
    Just windows and X86 that are holding back real 64bit computing. Almost all programs on OSX is 64 bit native since 4-5 years back. It is just silly that you need to specify when you buy windows if you want a 64bit version or not. If 64bit worked, everyone with at 64bit capable computer would want it.
    Gaming = Windows
    Work = anyting other than windows

    And the chap who thinks that ARM uses loads of energy under load: An ordinary dual core 1ghz ARM uses 2.5 watt under max load. A low voltage Intel uses about 17 watt. The difference is that i ARM you have everything inside the ARM chip. No need for a chipset. The chipset has been for example ATOMs big drawback. It is fine to have an ATOM that draws 4 watt. But you have to pair it with a chipset that draws 40 watt.