AMD and Intel take notice. Citing "industry sources," news and rumor site DigiTimes reports several vendors are planning to develop notebooks with ARM hardware inside, including Acer, Asus, Samsung, and Toshiba. These new notebooks could hit the retail scene as early as by the end of the year, which rules out Windows 8, at least for now. Instead, look for Google's Android platform to accompany these ARM-based notebooks.
The sources were quick to point out that ARM-based systems running Android are nothing new and were launched as smartbooks a couple years back. Weaker than expected demand resulted in a short shelf life for those systems, so what makes notebook makers this time will be any different?
For one, ARM processors are much faster now and have been upgraded from single-core chips to quad-core silicon. Android is far more mature as well, and when you put the two together, notebook makers think the union will present a compelling, low cost alternative to Windows rigs with x86 hardware. These machines are expected to sell for less than $300 in form factors larger than a netbook.