Microsoft didn't fail to deliver iPad, Intel did

Microsoft didn't fail to deliver iPad, Intel did

Summary: I'm going to disagree with one key point in Ina Fried's thoughtful piece on why Apple came out with the iPad instead of Microsoft, even though Bill Gates stood up on stage and showed off a thin, light slate PC code-named Haiku years before. It wasn't Microsoft who failed to deliver the form factor - it was Intel.

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TOPICS: Windows
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I'm going to disagree with one key point in Ina Fried's thoughtful piece on why Apple came out with the iPad instead of Microsoft, even though Bill Gates stood up on stage and showed off a thin, light slate PC code-named Haiku years before. It wasn't Microsoft who failed to deliver the form factor - it was Intel.

Intel developed the Atom for Haiku (and devices like it). If Intel could have got the Atom down to where it will be next year three years ago, Haiku devices could have been thin and light rather than the chunky UMPC that Samsung delivered; today, you probably still couldn't quite get Haiku on an X86 system - it would have to be ARM like the iPad. (If you could build iPad on Intel, Apple would have done it in the first place instead of porting Mac OS to ARM.) Processor design has so much influence on the physical design of the rest of a PC that Toshiba had to get together with Intel to design the cooling system for the Port

Topic: Windows

Simon Bisson

About Simon Bisson

Simon Bisson is a freelance technology journalist. He specialises in architecture and enterprise IT. He ran one of the UK's first national ISPs and moved to writing around the time of the collapse of the first dotcom boom. He still writes code.

Mary Branscombe

About Mary Branscombe

Mary Branscombe is a freelance tech journalist. Mary has been a technology writer for nearly two decades, covering everything from early versions of Windows and Office to the first smartphones, the arrival of the web and most things inbetween.

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  • Is the problem really the hardware? Or is it the software that runs on it? Windows was designed originally as a desktop OS, I don't think it was ever intended to run on leaner hardware, even though Microsoft has tried to release scaled down versions of Windows. Personally I think this is where Linux and OS X can pick up the slack. It's been a known fact for years that Linux can happily run on hardware that Windows chokes on.
    Chris_Clay
  • It's both hardware and software. Windows proper is certainly not a good fit for portable devices, and we can only dream about what might have happened if Microsoft hadn't so comprehensively turned Windows Mobile into the biggest missed chance since Operation Sealion was abandoned in favour of Operation Barbarossa. (Oops. Godwin. Sorry.)

    But Intel has failed to deliver on Atom, meaning that the commercial imperative to produce a sane mobile x86 Windows - which Microsoft could certainly have done - has not materialised. I find this very disappointing, as the promises Intel made at the Atom launch were both thrilling and persuasive: on the other hand, the technologies that have succeeded are both good and capable of sustaining a competitive environment where open source is a huge player. Apple v MS is a lot less fun than Apple vs Linux.
    rupert.goodwins@...
  • @apex
    That leads into the question of what do you want to do on a tablet/slate? Do you want to do the same thing - I do on my tablet when I'm taking handwritten notes - or do you want to do a different thing - I do on my tablet when I'm using Media Center to watch videos. Having the experience be different from the standard OS UI doesn't need a wholly different OS. What I'd like to see is a properly scaling UI in Windows (not just DPI but experience) so I can still get the apps I need and have my slate be a PC, rather than have to find compatible apps and a sync strategy on the OS I have to take to get the device I want - but for that device to be able to be a PC the hardware has to do what we were promised it was going to.
    M
    Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe