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WindowsXP Preemptively Pushing Midori Linux Aside?

WindowsXP Preemptively Pushing Midori Linux Aside? - PCSTATS
Abstract: The recent announcement of continued development of the Tablet PC with the Crusoe processor can be seen as no less than a full fledge strategic partnership.
Filed under: Editorial Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: - Apr 03 2001   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Editorial > - WindowsXP

WindowsXP Preemptively Pushing Midori Linux Aside?

Bill Gates keynote speech with the tablet PC at Comdex fall last year was heralded by many analysts as a sign of support garnered because of Mark Allen's close ties to Microsoft.

If that was the case then Mark Allen's rise to CEO of Transmeta Corp. and the recent announcement of continued development of the Tablet PC with the Crusoe processor can be seen as no less than a full fledge strategic partnership. Transmeta has created its own mobile device market and now has the world's largest software company actively developing applications for that market.

Microsoft for its part, will be advancing the development of a Crusoe-incorporating Tablet PC. Crusoe it seems has landed the preferred, though not singular, position with Microsoft. Said Jeff Raikes, group VP of productivity and business services of Microsoft, "Working together, the two companies can further optimize these next generation mobile PC's for demanding environments."

Besides maintaining a common vision for mobile devices the key to this partnership lies in WindowsXP. By making its claim on WindowsXP Transmeta assures itself a position that Mobile Linux may never be capable of providing.

For the still emerging Crusoe chips it is critical they don't loose access to the mobile market because a suitable OS (that users will accept) is not readily available. WindowsXP it seems, is being positioned to take up the slack in IA markets. Joint optimizing by Transmeta and Microsoft seeks to assure high performance, low weight, cool running temperatures and naturally, extremely long battery life.

While the market is largely stalled at the moment, the movement towards feature rich IA's is progressing on the development side of things rapidly. WindowsXP may be just the key necessary to unlock the potential of this region which has otherwise been straddled with high price points and low feature-sets. While high price points are acceptable for emerging technologies, low feature sets are generally not.

For Microsoft, the next generation Tablet PC technology is the natural answer because it enables users to interact through windows-based applications. As Microsoft and Transmeta focus on optimizing WindowsXP for this type of application, you can rest assured that interest and acceptance in the tablet market will grow.

Why haven't tablets popped-up on every remaining dot-com CEO's desk already? Mainly because no matter how many features or cutting edge bits of technology are included in the units one significant hurdle remains - the interface between the device and the user.

According to some developers, one of the main hurdles with the keyboardless tablet formfactor is just learning how to use it. As frustrating and slow as some people find Palm's Grafitti language, tablets face the same challenge. It takes time for to learn how to interact with a device in the absence of a keyboard. A major release of a product with deficiencies in its' user interface could be disastrous for a manufacturer, and the entire market segment. Just remember back to the Apple Newton.

A close relationship between Transmeta and Microsoft will hopefully better prepare Crusoe for an anticipated upcoming battle royal with Intel.

Having the Windows OS optimized to take advantage of Crusoe's unique characteristics not only benefits Transmeta, but also assures Microsoft the chance to keep Linux, in whatever format, biting at the fringes. It would be hard to imagine Microsoft being content to sit idly by and let Linux gain a foot hold in the Mobile Device market place, especially as this area is expected to grow significantly over the next few years.

It will be interesting to see if the Tablet PC, in whatever iteration, actually makes it to store shelves. Whatever the outcome, Transmeta with Mark Allen at the helm, and Microsoft in tow, will present a difficult entity for Intel to smother completely.


 

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