Android, ARM and Apple to Move In On Wintel Marriage

By Erin Harrison September 15, 2011

Wintel – the marriage between Windows-Intel – is expected to renew its vows, according to industry experts who are optimistic about the resurgence in the wake of global developer conferences that have promoted the upcoming Ivy Bridge processors and Windows 8 operating system.

In essence, Wintel was a “marriage of convenience” pairing two dominant technologies: Microsoft’s Windows operating system and Intel’s x86 processor family.

Discussions held at two major conferences this week – Microsoft’s Build for showcasing Windows 8 and the Intel Developer Forum – show an effort to renew their marriage vows as the couple attempt to become relevant in the mobile device market.

“Microsoft and Intel, which as allies haven’t made so much as a blip in the mobile device market, are trying to become relevant there through partnerships with companies that already have a mobile presence,” CNET reported.

The marriage will likely include a third party – by partnering with Apple – as the two forces attempt to make gains in mobile computing, industry analysts have suggested.

“On the operating system side of the equation, Google has built Android into a viable smartphone competitor to Apple’s iOS. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Windows Phone still lags and Windows 8 for tablets won’t arrive until 2012. On the processor side, virtually all mobile devices, including all of Apple’s, use chips based on ARM’s designs,” CNET reported.

As PC Magazine’s Michael J. Miller points out, Microsoft and Intel are unveiling strategies “that could take them down very different paths.”

At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini showed off an Android tablet running on a next-gen “Medfield” chip designed to compete with ARM in tablets and phones, CNET said.

Meanwhile, Windows division president Steven Sinofsky “spent a lot of time at the Build conference in Anaheim, Calif., touting Windows 8 running on ARM processors.”

With Microsoft focusing on ARM and Intel on Android, ultimately, Wintel “will have to make room for WARM and Andrintel,” CNET said.

Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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