There’s some interesting numbers coming out of the computer industry. Let’s take a look at them.
With apologies to Alfred Lord Tenneyson
Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Shops Rode the six hundred. "Forward the Tablet Brigade! Charge for the consumers!" he said. Into the valley of Shops Rode the six hundred.
Let’s talk about tablets.
Depending upon who you believe (and me being me, I believe nobody), Apple may be designing their own CPU, based on ARM technology. Apple has a job posting for a CPU designer on the Mac side of the business. Seriously. The Mac side. This has caused a lot of excitement in forums across the internet.
And AMD netbooks will follow shortly after.
Now my personal opinion is that the ARM netbooks are going to do really well, if running Linux. In fact if some smart cookie adopts one of the lighter distros such as Crunch Bang that’s solidly designed, in place of Xandros and Linpus, they could be killer.
Of course then you’ve got Nvidia using WinCE on ARM. My first response was to ask how much Microsoft paid Nvidia to use it, as I couldn’t think of any other reason to use WinCE (I have two mini-laptops here that use WinCE, and the OS is a freaking disaster. Which was a real disappointment because the hardware was actually quite nice). And then of course there’s the name. Firefly was one of the best TV shows in ages, and Nvidia decides to use the name on a piece of junk (no, I haven’t seen one, but I’ve never seen anything running WINCE that was worth the cost).
And last but not least, you’ve got AMD. Based on what I’ve read it looks like the Dual Core Neos could be the black horse in this race. They have a lot of raw processing power, but they use more electrical power than the Atom, but a lot less than a Core 2 Duo. Think of a Dell Mini 12 netbook with an AMD dual core Neo. You’ve got something that has the power for low level media work, but with battery life that’s a lot better than a normal notebook. It could be the basis of a whole new niche, the Super Netbook. Install DellOS on it instead of Windows, and Dell’s exit strategy from the Microsoft meltdown is assured. This of course assumes that Dell has the guts to actually let the world know that DellOS, a BSD based imitation of OSX exists. My bet is that they don’t, Microsoft still has too much hold over them.