AMD unveils plans to support Android and Chrome OS

AMD unveils plans to support Android and Chrome OS

Summary: AMD announces plans to offer support for Google's Android and Chrome OS. Could this pave the way for low-cost, low-power, Android-powered PCs hitting the shelves, putting further pressure on the struggling Windows 8 operating system?

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TOPICS: Processors
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(Source: AMD)
(Source: AMD)

It's clear that AMD is keen to expand beyond the stalled PC market, having negotiated its way inside all the next-generation games consoles. But now the company is eyeing fresh pastures in the form of Android and Chrome OS.

Google Chromebooks are currently powered by ARM and Intel processors.

PC World, reporting from Computex 2013, says that AMD plans to offer support for both of Google's operating systems, as well as continuing to support Microsoft's Windows platforms.

Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of global business units at AMD, said, "We are very committed to Windows 8. We think it's a great operating system, but we also see a market for Android and Chrome developing as well."

This latest statement goes contrary to the one Su made earlier this year where she said that AMD was "betting heavily on Windows 8" and had no plans to support Android.

AMD has put a lot of effort into its Z-01 and Z-60 tablet chips, but because this hardware is tied to Windows 8, and Windows 8 devices haven't really been flying off shelves, AMD's been left with good silicon but no market, which may be the reason behind the U-turn.

Expanding into Android and Chrome OS could be a way for it to create new markets for its low-energy processors, in particular the new Temash-based silicon unveiled last month. These chips, which will make their way into devices later this year, promise up to 8 hours of battery life when running Windows 8.

This move also raises the interesting possibility that we could see low-cost, low-power, Android-powered PCs hitting the shelves, putting further pressure on the struggling Windows 8 operating system.

Topic: Processors

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        • Where??

          Just where is this mentioned in the article? I went back to reread it and didn't see it anywhere. Did I miss it again?
          calfee20
  • Probably not.

    Hedging their bets, AMD is doing everything they can to compete and survive as they should. However, as much as bloggers criticize Windows 8's sales performance, Chrome OS (which has been around longer) isn't even a blip. It has not been well received by the public. The value proposition just isn't there. Android hasn't really been well received either, although their market share is large.. People use it because we have little choice in the matter.

    Here is the real problem: Software. Apple has created a huge problem in the industry by devaluing software. (See http://www.zdnet.com/most-app-developers-arent-even-breaking-even-but-still-keep-going-7000016362/ ) People used to pay anywhere from $25 to $600 for a typical piece of retail software (PC Games at the low end, business software like CAD, Photoshop etc. at the high end).

    With the introduction of smart phones, software was introduced for approximately $.99, sometimes free. While in the beginning it was understood that this was for less capable software, almost software-lite...people began complaining if an App wanted to charge $1.99. "They are crazy. I'm not spending $1.99 for that"

    This devaluation of software was initially great for Apple as it drove people to the platform enticing them to get Apps for free and cheap. Later Android followed with an even worse problem....being inherently too cheap to by the "real thing", people opted for the cheaper Android device and those people were even less likely to drop $.99 on an App.

    So what does all this mean? It means that the average person doesn't have much money invested in their specific ecosystem. It was always hard to switch from Windows because 1) there still isn't a better platform available (sorry, but true.) and 2) users had a large investment in software. However, with the average user only tied up with about $10-$15 worth of apps on the Apple platform and probably around $4 worth of apps on Android, the loyalty factor is very small.

    In other words, if a user wanted to switch from iOS to something better, it wouldn't be very expensive. Additionally, since smartphones have conditioned people to a 2 year life cycle, one company may be on top of the world one minute, but in 2 years time be relatively insignificant. Gone are the days of the dynasties created by Microsoft/Intel.

    Which is why Google and Apple are struggling to keep Microsoft/Intel/AMD out of the game. They have created their own mess. It is unlikely that either will be able to hold their position for very long because of the nature of the market they created.
    gomigomijunk
    • False premise

      Android hasn't been well received? What exactly does that mean? In sales terms, Android leads the market. Are you talking about reviews? Because if you are, most reviewers consider the functionality to ain advance of competing mobile OSes, and many consider the UI to be on par in many areas with iOS.

      As for switching from Windows - you actually have never tried any other OS, so you don't actually know. Linux has done everything I need for 15+ years now - except replace Cubase Score (music composing software). I have never had a Linux computer need re-installing due to virus (or any other reason). I have always had my computer boot from cold to working in under one minute. I have not paid for non-game software.

      As a value proposition, Linux has beaten Windows hands down. As a TCO proposition, Linux has beaten Windows hands down. That said, if you had no expertise - then prior to about 2008, Windows was easier to install and maintain (mostly because it came on your PC, and every manufacturer made drivers for it). Now I would argue that Linux is easier to maintain than Windows. However, if you want the warm fuzzies of a paid for OS, MacOS and Windows are viable choices.

      As for CPU families - Intel played the "uber performance" game for long after performance mattered. They lost at the first plateaux, in the single core game against AMD - when their CPUs were marginally faster but ran at frightening temperatures. The next plateaux has been reached, where AMD have succesfully integrated very good graphics into the die. Once again, AMD have basically an SOC that beats the intel value proposition for performance at low power - and covers a range of targets from Tablet, through micro server, laptop and mid range PC.
      dimonic
      • So true

        Linux is still difficult for most, even though its not physically difficult for anyone with computer knowledge, most people dont even know what "operating system" means. Also @ the guy above Android has been growing in marketshare, and people like what they know. iOS has a vastly inferior user interface
        Jimster480
  • Since they'll sell for roughly the same price as X86 machines

    give or take a few dollars, there's really no benefit to going with an "Android PC", especially when BlueStacks let people do that now, without the limitations of being stuck with a PC that only runs small apps vs. anything they want.
    William Farrel
  • Better than Linux fanboys like you

    You've been on here forever spewing MS negativity while singing the praises of Linux/Android/Ubuntu/Mint/... on and on since there are about 10,000 variants of UNIX/Linux out there on all sorts of different form factors and hardware. Why don't you try using some of those variants for once instead of spewing anti-MS hate. I think you'll find most of the Linux/Unix variants lacking in quite a few different areas. In particular the UI, which absolutely sucks on these platforms including your beloved "familiar" Android. Better yet, why don't you try and develop on some of these platforms, especially Android and you will see how really poor it is. These variants and this platform only have one appeal... they are cheap, no not inexpensive (which is a word to describe something that is low cost but has quality), but CHEAP (something that is extremely low cost but extremely low quality and simply CRAP!) Of course with fanboys, its usually all talk and absolutely nothing to back it up with. Very sad, but very true.
    BruinB88
    • its actaully

      really easy to dev on Android and linux... There are so many dev kits so many libraries and all you need to know is some C... If you don't know C and have no plans to learn C then you aren't a real software dev anyway and you just playing around like a child at toys R' us. Linux has many UI's many of which are vastly surperior to anything on any other platform if configured correctly. I'm currently using a customized version of Mint 14 w/ a custom kernel and a custom configred Compiz WM and I must tell you I prefer it to my big Windows 7 box @ home. While I agree that Linux has alot of things that need to be changed for it to be ready for primetime its not that its anywhere near useless. Your precious MAC Desktop is actually Gnome2 w/ Compiz effects, and your precious Windows desktop (including the Aero and all the concepts for that) are based around ideas implemented by KDE & compiz years ago.. And speaking of fanboys, you just spewed a bunch of crap with absolutely nothing to back it up...
      Jimster480
      • It's obvious

        You have not programmed anything for Android. The fact is the vast majority of developers program in Java for Android, NOT C or C++. There are those who use C/C++ with the NDK but the vast majority either use Java with the SDK or go with an HTML5/Javascript approach for generic apps. So you see I can back my words up. All your doing is spewing things you know absolutely nothing about. Linux fanboys are normally really good at that (spewing things they know nothing about). As for developing for these environments, yea pure C is great if and only if you want to run optimized on the ONE environment your developing for. It is not a good solution at all for cross platform/cross form factors. Of course being that you probably have never even developed a "Hello World" program, I wouldn't expect you to understand something so basic.
        BruinB88
    • not about microsoft..

      This is about Android and Chrome and AMD.. you are making it about MS.

      Why don't you and Owlnot, lockC0ck stay out of stories that don't concern your wonderful Microsoft dream. Let those of us who actually try all products before proclaiming experience read real experiences instead of the Microsoft PR spin.
      frankieh
      • You must've failed reading comprehension in school, since,

        what AMD is doing is trying to do is to create hardware that can run Android and Chrome OS; AND!!!!, like the article above states (right in the sub-heading), the AMD/Android/Chrome OS alliance, could be "..putting further pressure on the struggling Windows 8 operating system?".

        Get it??? "...putting further pressure on the struggling Windows 8 operating system?".

        It may be that AMD didn't directly state that they want to target the Windows/Intel alliance, but the author of the piece above did, thus, also making the discussion about Windows 8.
        adornoe
  • I love Android

    I love Android because it's an excellent Tablet OS. I love my Transformer because it allows me to perform functions that are more easily performed with a keyboard and proves a "just enough" laptop experience to get most of what I want done.

    But when it comes to actually replacing my Windows desktop? I don't think so. Android still has a long way to go as far as a truly useful desktop UI is concerned. And by the time it gets there I suspect it will end up looking a lot like Windows anyway (or MacOS or some windowing flavor of Linux). At that point Android just becomes another Linux distribution and faces the same challenges that other Linux distributions have faced trying to dethrone Windows.

    I'm not saying it's not possible or it's not gong to happen, but I see it as not that likely.

    Just my two cents.
    dsf3g
    • Delusional...

      Android is NOT an excellent tablet OS. What are you people looking at?
      BruinB88
      • Nice

        Nice argument there, bud, well supported with facts and logic. I look forward to reading many useful and enlightening comments from you in the coming months.
        dsf3g
        • Nice counter argument

          I too look forward to hearing your words of wisdom. You have obvisouly used all of these OS's and products and have detailed pros and cons of each. Well... Let's hear those words of wisdom...
          BruinB88
          • counter-argument

            You expect a detailed counter-argument to an insult? I provided an opinion based on my personal experience working with Android and Windows. You replied with an empty insult. I owe you nothing.
            dsf3g
      • And what do you think belongs on a tablet?

        Is it your precious iOS with its inferior interface and lack of format support? Or is it Windows 8 with no actual apps and only office integration to keep it standing?
        Jimster480
        • Windows 8 has no apps LOL

          Now that's funny. So you are saying Windows 8 has no apps? Hmmm... So I guess all those Win32 apps out there we don't count, all the new WP8 and Win8 "metro style" apps we don't count. Yea, your right... Windows 8 has no apps. rotflmao.
          BruinB88
          • Re: So I guess all those Win32 apps out there we don't count

            They don't seem to be helping with Windows 8 sales, that's for sure.
            ldo17
          • Ido17: So, if you know what the Windows 8 sales have been, why don't you

            disclose them for us all who also want to have the figures. It's not fair that Microsoft discloses their numbers to you and you won't share with the rest of us.

            It's not nice to not share. So, let's have the numbers.
            adornoe
  • Not Everyone is a Power User

    The facts are that there are more devices available for data consumption than a PC or Laptop. A large amount of PC users are not like me or other power users. They need access to the Internet, Email, Documents, Skype, FB & Twitter. Those are the people that have created a new market for what "were" PC users. They can use something without Windows and be very Happy using it. I see it all over, lots of people with tablets or large phones and no computer. Low cost Chromebooks are replacing PC's in some business situations or libraries, I am reading about it and seeing it with my own eyes. The whole reason people buy one of these devices over a PC or Mac is everything they want to do is being done in a new ecosystem, one that Microsoft is trying to emulate in its new Windows 8 store. Face it for what it is a change. No tablet will ever replace a PC for the work I do, but I do enjoy using a tablet to read and surf the net at night sitting in a recliner. As far as MS Windows 8 RT not hitting the numbers that MS wanted, they are making devices for the wrong market. They do not have the powerful base of software that Apple has for it's iPad, nor the affordability of an Android device. Apple had a long time to build up its iPad library, same with Android. I remember when there was a lot of software for the iPad and nothing much around for Android. People bought the Android phones because they were affordable, then developers followed. These are facts - a big part of what is changing the PC market.
    Dennis Saeva