When Oracle acquired Sun last year, it did so for things like the Java platform and the Solaris operating system, not servers running on Intel's x86 architecture. In fact, even though Sun thought it could become a major seller of x86 servers prior to the buyout, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison now says that the company makes next to no money on them and plans to start phasing x86-based servers out entirely in 2012 favor of more profitable Solaris/SPARC-based hardware.
Any other 33-year-old who noticed a sudden growth spurt would run to a doctor, but it seems that Intel’s x86 architecture will never stop growing. New extensions appeared this year in Sandy Bridge processors, more are coming in next year’s Ivy Bridge, and still more will come in 2013 with a processor code-named Haswell. Is the x86 growing stronger or fatter? Stronger!
Microsoft is unlike other pretenders to the tablet throne, all of whom are simply following Apple’s lead, in that it wants Windows 8-based tablets to deliver both the versatility and power of traditional PCs and the pickup-and-play ease of media tablets. But that’s where the differences end as Redmond also seems to have a fair amount of faith in the old adage “when in Rome . . .” Like Apple, the pioneer of the modern app store, MS also plans to keep 30 percent of all app sales. But that’s not the only part of Apple’s app distribution model to have caught Microsoft's fancy.
They say fate's a fickle mistress, but destiny's got nothing on the free market. For every Microsoft-esque success story, there's the burnt out husk of Sun Microsystems (R.I.P.). The really interesting tales have nothing to do with overwhelming successes or overwhelming failures, though; any budding novelist can tell you that a good story needs some tension.
It was 30 years ago to the day when IBM released it's first personal computer, the IBM PC 5150. Two days ago, an IBM executive essentially declared the PC a fossil, saying he recently made the switch to a tablet as his primary computer (good luck with that). And today? IBM made a splash in the server sector by announcing it just recorded the highest TPC-C benchmark score ever achieved for an x86 server.
AMD is getting ready to 'Bulldozer' the market with a new processor architecture, but in the meantime, the chip maker's Fusion parts are picking up the market share slack. The Sunnyvale firm gained nearly two points of x86 market share in the second quarter, and now holds a 19.4 percent share overall, according to new data from market research firm Mercury Research, eWeek reports.
Remember that old Johnny Carson bit where he pretended to be the swami and guessed the contents of an envelope he held over his forehead? Maybe some of those psychic powers transferred over to us here at Maximum PC. No, we're not saying we can pick tomorrow's lotto numbers, but damn we have a knack for timely scheduling. Hot on the heels of our ARM vs. x86 feature – you've checked it out, right? – comes the news that ARM processors are projected to be the driving force behind nearly a quarter of all notebook PCs by 2015.
The desktop computer as we know it could be in danger! Our hobby is doomed!
Let’s face it. We’re all going to be reading these words a trillion times during the next 12 months. So we decided to head this one off at the pass. Is the onset of ARM a real threat to desktop computing, or is it more of an evolutionary force?
Intel senior VP Renee James may have rode into town a little high on her horse yesterday when she revealed details about Windows 8, details that were apparently "misleading." James spoke of there being multiple versions of Windows 8, four of which will be aimed at ARM. According to James, ARM, unlike Intel, will not be able to run legacy apps. Microsoft's response? Shut your face, Intel (we're paraphrasing).
Intel's taken some shots to the ribs recently. Several tablets have gone with ARM-based chipsets rather than Intel's old standby, x86. Then, Nokia left Intel at the Medfield processor altar, running off into the sunset with Windows 7 phones instead. So what's a down-on-its-luck processor manufacturer to do?
Grit its teeth and double-down on technology, that's what.