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Nvidia Lauds Windows CE Over Android For Smartbooks 263

Posted by timothy
from the this-is-2009-ce-after-all dept.
ericatcw writes "Google's Android may enjoy the hype, but an increasing number of key industry players say the mobile OS isn't ready for ARM netbooks, aka smartbooks. Nvidia is the most recent to declare Android unfit for duty, stating its preference for Microsoft's Windows CE, which an Nvidia exec praised for having a "low footprint" and being "rock solid." Nvidia is busy optimizing its multimedia-savvy Tegra system-on-chip for Windows CE. Such improvements won't arrive for at least a year to Android, which has an inflexible UI and poor graphics support for devices larger than a smartphone, says Nvidia. Other firms echoing similar criticism include ARM and Asustek."
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Nvidia Lauds Windows CE Over Android For Smartbooks

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  • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nicolas.kassis (875270) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @03:16PM (#28378607)
    Let's not forget that it still sucks and I hoped they would see that and go "Geez, maybe we can help this new guy out so that maybe they will get us out of this lame ass no one wants these things because windows CE sucks issue"
  • by chrb (1083577) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @03:32PM (#28378935)

    I was at a conference in 2002 where the chairman of ARM, Sir Robin Saxby, gave a keynote talk on ARM. In the Q&A session afterwards one of the attendees asked what Mr. Saxby thought of Linux - he replied that it was a toy operating system that would never amount to anything, and that open source was a useless strategy for developing software and he didn't see any place for it in the business world. The hall erupted with various PhD students and postgrads raising their hands, and after three people all said basically the same thing - that they use Linux and think open source is great - the chair had to say no more Linux questions. But after hearing what the guy at the top had to say, it would never surprise me to hear that ARM might be hostile to Linux and open source, even when it's running on their own chipsets.

  • Who needs Android? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @03:39PM (#28379051)
    Really, the early success of netbooks loaded with Ubuntu showed clearly that there is no real need for Android. Now, there's going to be netbooks with ARM. GREAT, this is the time to demonstrate (if only it was needed) that Linux is portable, and that distributions like Debian can run perfectly on ARM chips. There WILL be some players in the industry that will understand it, sooner or later. I knew there will be a time where DFSG free OS would start becoming popular just because of the fact it can fit any hardware. It's great if it's demonstrated by using them on cheaper netbooks.
  • by somenickname (1270442) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @03:44PM (#28379147)

    A company that only begrudgingly supports linux with a massive binary blob and no real support thinks that it may be easier to support a platform where that kind of treatment is considered the norm. This does not surprise me. I have a lot of respect for the nvidia linux engineers and they seem like knowledgeable and good guys but, I would imagine that management has tied their hands and this is a political rather than an engineering decision.

  • A bunch of FUD? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xlotlu (1395639) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @04:02PM (#28379509)

    Maybe I don't get it, but this looks like a concerted FUD campaign against Android. I don't know much about the Android internals, but isn't graphics hardware acceleration handled in the DRM part of the Linux kernel? What does this have to do with Android?

    Presumably Android would have to implement the rest of DRI (if they don't use the existing Linux infrastructure / didn't do so already), and next their equivalent of a X.org video driver. But what's the big deal?

    Also, all video and graphics rendering in Android is done today by the operating system's Java code, a technique he says is too slow for HD video.

    "There's no hardware acceleration. It's all software," Rayfield said.

    So, huh? Because it's Java it can't use hardware acceleration?

    Other major problems include the fact that the Android icons are too large, and apparently it's gonna take one year to make them small... Well, that makes a lotta sense.

    It would make more sense if nVidia said "We're already having a hard time with binary blobs for those lousy x86 linux geeks. Now they want to do that for ARM too, and even worse, for something that doesn't use the X.org architecture. I say we better get together again next year."

  • by speedtux (1307149) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @04:02PM (#28379529)

    After twenty years of Microsoft corrupting the industry and colluding with other companies to place their products, how can anybody take such statements seriously? Nvidia has strong ties to Microsoft, and when Microsoft tells them to jump, they simply ask "how high".

    Personally, I think Android is not a very good choice for netbooks; Ubuntu Netbook edition is a much better choice. But Windows CE wouldn't even make my list of a usable netbook operating system.

  • Wrong way around? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FrankDrebin (238464) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @04:03PM (#28379551) Homepage

    Nvidia is busy optimizing its multimedia-savvy Tegra system-on-chip for Windows CE.

    Apparently someone doesn't appreciate the difference between hardware and software.

  • by dfghjk (711126) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @04:04PM (#28379565)

    There's no such thing as a piece of the Android business. Android is a means to an end, not the end itself.

  • Wait a minute (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pecisk (688001) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @04:14PM (#28379757)

    1) Poor UI - what he is talking about? Windows CE is a mess. Yes, Windows Mobile 5 was kinda Teletubies land as Windows XP, but still, it's a huge mess stiched together
    2) Doesn't support devices larger than smartphones? Ohh boy, yes, it doesn't, because it doesn't aim for it!

    Sounds like Microsoft partner trashing competitor. Propably there are technical reasons why Nvidia have chosen Windows CE, but these doesn't sound like valid one.

  • Re:So... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by the_womble (580291) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @04:19PM (#28379861) Homepage Journal

    Well the ARM quote, if you RTFA, is:

    I do think that there is more work that can and will be done to bring the things we love about Android into form factors [such as netbooks]

    She also mentions Moblin as a possible alternative.

    I cannot actually see what is so good about Android. Why not Maemo, or the mobile optimised versions of distros such as Ubuntu. It is going to take Android a long time to catch up with the range of software available for real Linux.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @04:55PM (#28380481)

    I work for a very large computer manufacture who is coming out with an ARM based PC. We looked at Marvell, Freescale, and NVIDIA. NVIDIA was the only one who has no support for Linux and because of this was marked off right away. Besides there lack of support for Linux there ARM CPU is pretty weak compared to Marvell and Freescale, there only advantage is the GPU. But because of the lack of Linux support we crossed them off right away. There really only hurting themselves.

  • The real issue .... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by taniwha (70410) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @04:57PM (#28380507) Homepage Journal

    Android doesn't use X - nVidia have drivers for X and for Windows - but not for Android - so no one's choosing nVidia hardware for Android - so nVidia's discouraging people from using Android ....

    Just wait, if they're smart a year from now they'll have Android drivers and wont have a problem with it

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @05:45PM (#28381235) Homepage Journal

    Actually it could be worse.
    How many people will buy a printer that "works with windows" only to have it fail on a WINCE netbook?
    Hey Windows is Windows.

  • by recharged95 (782975) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:01PM (#28384375) Journal
    • Palm OS crashes--take battery out and in.
    • WinCE crashes--take battery out and in.
    • iPhone OS crashes--Press power button for 5 seconds.
    • Symbian OS crashes--Press power button for 5 seconds or take battery out.
    • Web OS crashes-- ??? (but looks like no different than above)

    Android OS crashes--??? Haven't seen it crash yet (since Dec 2008). Apps have crashed, or the phone needs a reboot due to lack of force close, but the phone recovers nicely on app crashes. Apps crashing on any of the above devices usually result in an OS crash as well.

    .

    There's a reason why VM's make sense. Especially when you're mobile. Nvidia is shooting themselves in the foot on this one.

  • Re:So... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hitmark (640295) on Friday June 19, 2009 @12:04AM (#28385173) Journal

    There is always mer, the community offshot...

    its being applied to a increasing number of devices outside of the nokia tablets these days (like say two similar products from china, the smartq5 and smartq7).

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