Genie To Bottle Microsoft
How far should Microsoft feel threatened by Linux? Quite a bit, if ARM’s CEO Warren East is to be believed.
“Today the Linux world is not as good as Microsoft from the point of view of the user, but it’s getting rapidly better,” East told me this afternoon, ”so it will get to be as good as Microsoft and, when that happens, the genie will be out of the bottle. Because Linux is much more cost-effective than Microsoft. People will ask: ‘Why do we use Microsoft?’”
East told the FT recently that ARM “almost doesn’t care” that ARM-based netbooks will not be Windows-based, pointing out that if people find Linux and Android just as good an experience as Windows, then Microsoft’s reluctance to get involved doesn’t matter although “it’s a dangerous missed opportunity for them”.
It is thought that Microsoft is steering clear of ARM-based laptops because of its ties to rival processor firm Intel and because it thinks the fee for the operating system on a sub-$200 netbook isn’t worth having.
ARM is saying that the new ARM processors, Cortex A8 and A9, which will be used in the netbooks coming out this year will be deliver a “desktop-class user experience” while using ten times less power than Atom.
East is expecting about ten ARM-based netbooks to be out on the market this year and is preparing a four core ARM – the Cortex 9 – which is expected to give as powerful a processing experience as an Intel Atom, but with less than a tenth of an Atom’s power consumption.