x86 gunning for ARM market share in mobile spaces

Posted by Rick C. Hodgin

San Francisco (CA) - At Fall IDF 2007, Intel gave several keynote presentations and classroom sessions whereby they talked about the mobile Internet enabled future.  One thing was clear:  the Internet is built around x86 and its future will be one built around x86 computing, not ARM.

Intel went so far during one keynote as to show how many errors ARM based browsers have while trying to surf the Internet.  This chart showed dozens of errors for ARM while zero for the most supportive x86 environment.  In addition, another slide was shown whereby 62% of U.S. consumers who have web-enabled devices do not use their web functionality.  We were told it's because the devices are too difficult to use or they don't always work.  The difficulty comes from the fact that most mobile web browsers are not fully compliant browsers and, therefore, offer something less than the full x86 experience you might have on a Windows XP box with Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Intel made it very clear that they intend to change that.  With Silverthorne and future web-enabled platforms like Moorestown on the horizon, the x86 processors and platforms will be moving into the power envelopes necessary for wide mobile use.  When this happens, x86 will bring with it a host of interoperable tools which allow for desktop software creation parallel to mobile.  In some cases, a recompile will not even be required to run on the mobile device.

One thing that has puzzled several people is the fact that Intel appears to be moving away from Windows as its fundamental OS support.  These future devices will likely be based on Ubuntu, as that OS vendor was featured very prominently throughout Fall IDF 2007.

This conclusion is shared in a TG Daily interview with Mooly Eden, as well as Tom Krazit of ZD Net.