Saturday01 October 2022

Displaying items by tag: Tablets

HP-TouchPad-TabletThe tablet market has pretty much exploded. It seems that everyone has one or wants to build one. ARM (the company that holds the IP for 99% of the CPU technology that goes into tablets and smart phones) is enjoying a huge success. So much so that now Intel and AMD have set their sights on them, but we will get into that later. ARM’s designs as produced by companies like Samsung, Texas Instrument, nVidia, and many others have improved and are even encroaching on the x86 market.

Published in Editorials
Thursday, 15 December 2011 07:33

Mobile, it’s the new Black

motorola_droid_x1It looks like mobile is the way to go these days; well really it has been for some time. Back in 2009 or so nVidia saw that and turned their attention toward the mobile world by developing the Tegra SoC (System on Chip) at the time many people slammed them for dropping out of the chipset business and fans of their GPUs became annoyed that this new product was taking priority over development of faster and better products for their games. Now, after a rocky start and three generations into it (plus a design win that could put Tegra on the moon), no one is laughing at the tiny little chip any longer.

Published in Editorials

BrazosOk... remember how we told you that we had a suspicion that AMD might be working on an x86 based SoC.  We have already seen several signs pointing to a major push on something new and we know that AMD is VERY excited about their Brazos and Llano products. If you add this on top of AMD CEO Rory Read’s fondness for small, low-powered mobile devices you can begin to see a picture emerging. The picture is still fuzzy, but we are finding more signs that could back up our case for AMD’s x86 SoC.

Published in News
Friday, 07 October 2011 19:52

Consumers want a Windows Based Tablet

Tansformer_and_DockRemember how we told you not too long ago that Microsoft was being smart by working on a tablet friendly version of Windows 8? (Which they have been trying very hard to screw up) Well, one of the things we said about this was the people want a tablet that can do real production work. We have seen this in our own tinkering with multiple tablets from the iPad, iPad2, Transformer and the Flagship tablet, the Asus EEE Slate EP 121. Out of all of these, the only one that we can actually do full production work on is the EP121. Oddly enough (not really) it is also the only one of the group that runs on Windows 7.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the Transformer (we will have a review of that up soon) for its versatility and ease of use. It is a great little tool and easy to transport. However, there are no real productivity apps available for it. I have tried all of the office suites from Documents to Go, Apple’s Pages, to Quick Office. None of them can compete with Office 2010; even Pages (which comes closest) cannot cut it. The tools and flow are not there, it is as simple as that.

It seems that this is not just my opinion on the subject, but a majority of consumers in both the US and China. According to a poll taken by the Boston Consulting Group and another one by Forrester earlier this year over 40 % of US consumers would like a Windows Based Tablet.  BCG’s numbers came in at 42% while the Forrester report showed a nice 46% wanted a Windows based tablet.  The remaining 50%+ was not all iOS either. Forrester claimed that 9% were interested in Android while 16% wanted iOS. BCG’s study claimed that 20% were interested in Android while 27% were looking into an iOS based tablet.

These numbers are only shocking when you leave out what people really want from their devices. They want a seamless experience. One thing that bugs me about having a desktop, laptop, and two different tablets is that to do anything on the Transformer I have to format it differently (especially videos). On the other Windows based devices, I just move files back and forth or put them in my Asus Cloud Drive account (if they are not important or need security).  Of course it also does not mean they want something like the EP121. While I love my EEE Slate, it can be bulky and is awkward to use with the keyboard at times. No what they want is something like the Tab or the Transformer, but running all of their favorite Windows software (including Office); this is what will finally bring the tablet home for many people.

So it seems that I am not the only one that feels that Windows is making the right (if somewhat late) move to a more tablet based OS and will only increase their potential for profit by coding for ARM (something they should have done with Windows 7).  Of course… that is saying they do not alienate all of their potential customers by failing to grasp what the market really wants in a tablet.

Source All things D

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Published in Editorials
Thursday, 08 September 2011 20:49

Windows 8 to support a full version of Hyper-V

untitledMicrosoft just announced that they are including Hyper-V with the next versio n of Windows. This now makes the third (in our opinion) most interesting new feature to be included with Windows 8. We have briefly talked about the other two (USB optimizations and the new File Management system). This new feature, however, is something that could have a big impact... on VMware. You see right nowVMware is one of the leading companies in virtualiation and their products are in use by a large number of people (incuding us). Of course Microsoft tried to include a type of Hyper-V in Winows 7 (XP-Mode) but that did not go over so well. This time things are a little different.

The Hyper-V that will be included with Widows 8 includes a llittle more than the XP Mode that is on the current flavor of Windows. For starters you wll not be able to run this unless you have a 64-bit CPU and at least 4GB of RAM. On top of all that you will need to have a CPU that supports Second Level Address Translation. Now this is not a networking term but relates to memory addressing and is a feature that has only popped up in the last few generations of CPUs from Intel and AMD. I wonder, if there is any chance that Microsoft will enable this feature for the ARM archiceture and allow a sort of "dual boot" mode with the guest OS taking the lead in system resources and the Host becoming a background task just to keep the Guest operational. In all honesty I am just waiting to see what tablet manufacturers are going to offer Windows 8 drivers for existing ARM tablets. I will be very interesting to see things a they unfold leading up to November of 2012.

Source Windows 8 Blog

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Published in News

TransformerApple has been having a blast dropping patents for vague concepts and even an entire device type (with their pending Pico Projector patent) regardless of prior art and at times regardless of if the patent is actual technology or not (the look and feel of something). Then they take these patents and wave them in the face of judges that have no real idea of what the patent is (or is not) covering asking for injunctions and outright bans on products from companies that are relatively underfunded in the legal department. If you ask Apple about this they will stand and say that they are protecting their Intellectual Property (which in many cases was “borrowed” from another company that cannot afford a legal fight with Apple like S3). This abuse of the patent and copyright system is detestable, but is an article for another day.

The question I am wondering is, why has Apple not gone after Microsoft? Windows 7 on a tablet has Pinch to Zoom, finger gestures and even the same “look and feel” when you scroll with your finger. Now, I could be wrong, but if Apple is trying to protect their IP you would think they would be going after Microsoft in a big way. I am also pretty sure they would be adding Asus (who has one of the best-selling Windows Based Tablets on the market right now) to their legal wish list as well. So, why do they leave these two obvious copy cats out of the litigation arena?

Well, here are a few reasons that we were able to come up with based on research. Microsoft is safe simply because they have bailed out Apple multiple times in the past and also have several patents and items that Apple needs to survive (Office for Mac is still a huge seller). Whether the Apple faithful and Steve Jobs want to admit it or not Apple owes it very existence to their rival; without Bill Gates and Microsoft we would be talking about Apple in the past tense. Right now Adobe is wishing they had dropped money into that bailout instead of just spending time and money making their products work on Apple’s RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) based systems (the PowerPC days). If they had, they perhaps they would have some leverage in the whole HTML5 Vs. Flash competition. This also applies to Microsoft’s net generation operating system Windows 8. In fact is applies even more as Microsoft is writing it to work on ARM based CPUs. The previews that we have seen also make it very tablet friendly and an obvious threat to Apple’s weakening hold on the tablet market. Yet, we have heard no call to arms from the Apple legal team over this.  

So, what about Asus and their tablets? Asus is also untouchable right now because they also have something that Apple wants; A manufacturing facility. Apple has been looking for alternatives to Foxconn due to the bad press surrounding the company’s many suicides. The world now knows that the iPhone, iPod and many other Apple products are assembled there and with the many deaths over working conditions at these plants the eyes are turning to look at Apple. The question has already been raised by many humanitarian groups “why has Apple done nothing about this?” You would think that a company that claims to be so “Green” and Earth Friendly would be appalled by what is happening over there. However, other than a few press releases (which usually tame the faithful) Apple has done nothing. At least on the surface, we have heard rumors that Apple is courting Pegatron as an alternative manufacturing site for the next generation of iToys. If this is true (and as of now we have no evidence to the contrary) then Apple would not want to get Asus upset. After all Asus owns Pegatron. It is their manufacturing company.

So then next time you hear an Apple press representative standing on the soapbox and loudly declaiming how they are protecting their Intellectual Property from the masses of thieves and copy-cats out there, just remember that they are only throwing this around at the companies they feel they can bully into submission. In the end no one likes a bully, and bullies usually reap what they sow in the long run.

Published in Editorials
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