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The question mark over Wintel’s future will hang in the air for two more years

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This is my brief answer (details for that will come after the Acer’s opinion) to:
Wintel destined to eventually fail, says Acer founder [DIGITIMES, Sept 10, 2013]

Commenting on recent events in the PC industry at a recent media conference, Acer founder Stan Shih said that the Wintel camp is destined to fail since the two giants have been keeping most of the profits to themselves, which is indirectly pushing many players to Google’s ecosystem.
Since Wintel’s business strategies can no longer create profits for partners, many downstream IT players have turned to other ecosystems to seek profitability, noted Shih, adding that Google’s open platform strategy is not the main attraction prompting IT players to join the Google camp.
Linux is also an open platform, but this has not helped it receive similar attention, Shih noted. For an ecosystem to have a chance of growing and staying strong, it must have leadership adopting strategies that allow all partners to earn profits.
Shih pointed out that Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia will be the right decision if the cooperation creates value for the companies, shareholders, consumers and partners.
In the past, Taiwan-based enterprises have not placed much focus on the software and service industries, ignoring the importance of strengthening design capabilities and related intangible outputs.
Shih believes Taiwan will need to put more investment into design innovation (arts, software and technologies), in order to change the current status.
As for recent rumors that Acer may be acquired by another player, Shih declined to comment and said that he is in no position to talk about the situation. However, not long ago, when asked the same question, Shih said he is neutral about the idea as long as the plan is fully thought out, is good for both enterprises, and is able to create value and help the company advance further.

As with The long awaited Windows 8.1 breakthrough opportunity with the new Intel “Bay Trail-T”, “Bay Trail-M” and “Bay Trail-D” SoCs? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 14, 2013] there is at least a renewed hope that the Wintel phenomenon would be able to continue its industry level influence for the next two years at least. Note that Acer founder was definitely well aware of the Bay Trail-T situation when he did his remark about Wintel’s Future as already doomed.

People heavily engaged in the Wintel camp with their livelihood became so excited with that post of mine about Bay Trail that started to debate the question “for what the heck Windows on ARM is needed anymore?”

Reading through their exchange of views (in Hungarian) I had to put the following comment (given in English but also showing the original in Hungarian) to their debate:

Your question of “for what the heck Windows on ARM is needed anymore?” could be raised only from a software developer point of view. From point of view of hardware, which is the primary view in this regard, such a question is meaningless.

Intel just only catched up with the lag it had in the area of true mobile SoCs, and only in the space of so called application processors. Even more, marketwise it could only start from now to prove its ability to sell the Bay Trail-T SoCs (having finally leading parameters) in hundreds of millions annually. This proof could take as much as 2 years, since only the Windows 8.1 market has been secured for Intel so far, and with that the company would hardly be able to achieve such a high annual volume in only 2 years.

Meantime the ARM leading edge will move further ahead. Intel already has big.LITTLE around its neck with which even smaller vendors, like the 500 people strong Allwinner, could just within half a year leapfrog over Bay Trail-T. Moreover, the leadership implementation of the 64-bit ARM client SoCs, coming to market in 2014, will also rely on big.LITTLE.

Even more essential, however, that during these next 2 years Intel will compete with an incredibly innovative, and from the “go to market” point of view much more efficient, what I will call, OPEN SILICON IP (Intellectual Property) ecosystem, versus its own, now completely closed (even in GPU as well) IP system.

Personally I would regard as an outstanding achievement if during these 2 years Intel would not lag significantly from the leading of of ARM. Such a conclusion is based on the exploration of the OPEN SILICON IP ecosystem exactly one year ago (which was published just upon the completion of a supplementary investigation last December, all in such past tense):
The future of the semiconductor IP ecosystem [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 13, 2012].

That post, however, is by an order of magnitude more complex reading than the current Bay Trail-T analytical summary.

Velvárt András Re: “mi a fenének vannak ARM-os Windows-ok?”
Szoftveres szemmel merül csak fel a kédés. Hardveres szemüveggel, ami egyébként elsődleges ebben a tekintetben, ilyen kérdés egyszerűen értelmetlen.
Az Intel ugyanis csak éppen, hogy behozta az igazi mobil SoC-ok terén fennálló lemaradását, és kizárólag az ún. application processor SoC-ok terén. Ráadásul piacilag még csak mostantól tudja bebizonyítani, hogy élvonalbeli paraméterű Bay Trail-T SoC-ivel képes lesz-e majd százmilliós nagyságrendű éves eladásokat produkálni. Ez akár 2 év, hiszen jelenleg csak a Windows 8.1 a biztos piaca, és ezzel aligha lesz képes ekkora nagyságrendet produkálni.
Eközben az ARM élvonal tovább úszik. Máris az Intel nyakán van a big.LITTLE, amivel még olyan kisebb vendor-ok, mint az 500 fős létszámmal működő Allwinner, is fél éven belül túl tudnak lépni a Bay Trail-T-n. Ráadásul a big.LITTLE-en alapszik a 2014-ben piacra kerülő 64-bit-es ARM kliens SoC-ék csúcsteljesítményű megvalósítása is.
A leglényegesebb azonban, hogy az Intel ezalatt a 2 év alatt egy hihetetlenül innovatív és a piacra vitel szempontjából nála jóval hatékonyabb, úgy nevesíteném, hogy OPEN SILICON IP (Intellectual Property) ökoszisztémával versenyez, szembe az ő teljesen zárt IP rendszerével (ami most már GPU-ban is ilyen).
Magam részéről kimagasló eredménynek tartanám, ha ezalatt a 2 év alatt nem túlzottan maradna el az ARM élvonaltól. Ezen véleményemet az OPEN SILICON IP ökoszisztéma éppen egy évvel ezelőtti feltárása (ami a december végi kiegészítő feltáráskor lett csak közzétéve) alapozta meg (így, múltidőben):
The future of the semiconductor IP ecosystem:
Ez persze még a mostani Bay Trail-T elemző összegzésnél is, mondjuk egy nagyságrenddel összetettebb olvasmány.

I will add to that here even more (in order to have all other aspects constituting additional challenges to Wintel in the next 2 years or so):

  1. During these 2 years we will witness an upcoming, new market disruption, which is also all Android based (more precisely forked Android based):
  2. Xiaomi announcements: from Mi3 to Xiaomi TV [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 5, 2013] combined with earlier Eight-core MT6592 for superphones and big.LITTLE MT8135 for tablets implemented in 28nm HKMG are coming from MediaTek to further disrupt the operations of Qualcomm and Samsung [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 20-29, 2013]

  3. An ARM-focussed Microsoft spin-off could be the only solution to save Microsoft in the crucial next 3-years period [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Aug 24, 2013]

  4. How the device play will unfold in the new Microsoft organization? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 14, 2013] combined with later Microsoft answers to the questions about Nokia devices and services acquisition: tablets, Windows downscaling, reorg effects, Windows Phone OEMs, cost rationalization, ‘One Microsoft’ empowerment, and supporting developers for an aggressive growth in market share [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 4, 2013] and Unique Nokia assets (from factories to global device distribution & sales, and the Asha sub $100 smartphone platform etc.) will now empower the One Microsoft devices and services strategy [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 3, 2013] posts, as well as with Nokia Lumia 1020: an excellent case of Nokia’s contribution to Microsoft as a key innovation partner [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 12, 2013] and Minutes of a high-octane but also expert evangelist CEO: Stephen Elop, Nokia [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 13, 2013].

  5. Companion Device Computing as envisaged and implemented by Pranav Mistry and his TTT team from Samsung: the case of Galaxy Gear + Galaxy Note 3 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 12, 2013] combined with The new Air Command S Pen User Experience making the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phablet, and Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition tablet next-generation devices [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 12, 2013], Samsung Exynos 5 Octa with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing and GPU Compute is the hidden gem in the Galaxy Note 3 and GALAXY Note 10.1, 2014 Edition, launched at ‘Samsung UNPACKED 2013 Episode 2’ event [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 12, 2013] and 20 years of Samsung “New Management” as manifested by the latest, June 20th GALAXY & ATIV innovations [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 2, 2013] posts, which are also all Android based (more precisely forked Android based).

  6. Windows 8.1: Mind boggling opportunities, finally some appreciation by the media [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 27, 2013] combined with earlier Microsoft betting on boosting Windows RT demand with top level ARM SoCs from its SoC partners, Windows 8.1 enhancements, Outlook addition to the Office 2013 RT and very deep tactical discounts to its OEM partners for tablet offerings of more value and capability [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 6, 2013] post.

  7. ARM Cortex-A12 CPU cores and Mali-T622 GPU cores with Process Optimization Packs (POPs), plus Mali-V500 video block for mid-range mobile devices of the end of 2014 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 3, 2013] combined with the later H2CY13: Upcoming next-gen Nexus 7, the ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 “re-incarnation” at reduced by $50 price, dual/quad-core mid-range tablets from white-box vendors starting from $65 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 5, 2013] post.

  8. Superphones turning point: segment satured with Tier 1 globals while the Chinese locals are at less than 40% of the Samsung price [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Aug 3, 2013] combined with earlier Xiaomi, OPPO and Meizu–top Chinese brands of smartphone innovation [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Aug 1, 2013], GiONEE (金立), the emerging global competitor on the smartphone market [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 22, 2013] and Spreadtrum is to be acquired by a Chinese high-tech investment enterprise owned by the state and also belonging to the leading Tsinghua University with microelectronics research interests [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 26, 2013] posts, as well as Android to overtake the overall PC market? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Aug 20, 2013] a close follow-up to those posts (but not only those).


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