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Intel Portables Windows Hardware

Intel's Haswell Chips Pushing Windows RT Into Oblivion 321

Posted by Soulskill
from the hardware-killed-the-software-star dept.
SmartAboutThings sends this excerpt from Technology Personalized: "Intel has started shipping the fourth generation Haswell chips for tablets, which brings power-efficient processors and hence much better battery life to Windows tablets. According to IDG, Intel has now started shipping new low-power, fourth-generation Core i3 processors, including one that draws as little as 4.5 watts of power in specific usage scenarios. These new Haswell processors could go into fanless tablets and laptop-tablet hybrids, bringing longer battery life to the devices. This is a great news for Windows lovers, who have had to sacrifice performance for battery life (and vice versa) until now. Now, with almost 50% better battery life as promised by Intel for Windows tablets, the OEMs have no real need to come out with Windows RT based tablets and hybrids anymore."
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Intel's Haswell Chips Pushing Windows RT Into Oblivion

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  • Now.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @06:07PM (#44814213) Homepage Journal

    "Now, with almost 50% better battery life as promised by Intel for Windows tablets, the OEMs have no real need to come out with Windows RT based tablets and hybrids anymore."

    Why would a manufacturer buy an OS nobody seems to want instead of using Android? What's MS's advantage here?

    • Exactly. They haven't had to bring out Windows RT tablets for awhile now.

    • by perpenso (1613749) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @06:15PM (#44814285)

      "Now, with almost 50% better battery life as promised by Intel for Windows tablets, the OEMs have no real need to come out with Windows RT based tablets and hybrids anymore." Why would a manufacturer buy an OS nobody seems to want instead of using Android? What's MS's advantage here?

      For the exact same reason people have been using Windows for decades. They want to run specific Windows based software. With these tablets running x86 rather than ARM the legacy x86 applications become usable. Assuming drivers and other factors cooperate.

    • The point is that now OEMs can ship regular Windows. Which lots and lots of people use. More people are already using Win8 than OSX and it's not even been out for a year.

    • Re:Now.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @06:46PM (#44814567) Homepage Journal

      Why would a manufacturer buy an OS nobody seems to want instead of using Android? What's MS's advantage here?

      The advantage of Windows and Windows RT over the Android ecosystem is availability of Microsoft Office.

      • Re: Now.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AlephNaut (120505)

        It's more than that though office is a big deal on the desktop sure.

        Lots of internal it type apps target windows. And lots of utilities. Throw in enterprise concerna and fuggetaboutit - running full windows is a requirement, not an optional thing.

        • by tsotha (720379)
          This is true. For personal use I could see buying an iPad or Android tablet, but if I get a tablet from The Man it's almost certainly going to be running Windows.
      • by msobkow (48369)

        Equally important to some minds is the idea that "Nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft."

      • by Trogre (513942)

        Which is why someone needs to make a fully functional LibreOffice for Android.

        Suddenly all that talk by devs about no longer being constrained by storage space, CPU time and available RAM is looking rather silly, isn't it? All I can say is, I told you so.

        • by bucky0 (229117)

          Which is why someone needs to make a fully functional LibreOffice for Android.

          I'm still waiting for someone to make a fully functional (Libre|Open)Office for my desktop...

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Actually there was NEVER a reason to use Win RT, it wouldn't run Windows X86 programs (the only reason to prefer Windows) and thanks to Apple starting the whole "thin is in" trend with iSliver batteries and more and more powerful SoCs frankly most of the ARM devices haven't been getting great battery life either. I have seen several of the new tablets that can't even get the 5 and a half hours my AMD Bobcat netbook gets, and its running a HDD instead of SSD.

      I'd say the biggest problem facing MSFT is NOT W

    • What's MS's advantage here?

      the windows apps are familiar to a lot of people. somewhat of a weak point i admit, since 8 flipped the OS on its head, and there's not many RT apps. but if you just look at say office, it's mostly the same between RT and intel.

    • "Now, with almost 50% better battery life as promised by Intel for Windows tablets, the OEMs have no real need to come out with Windows RT based tablets and hybrids anymore."

      Why would a manufacturer buy an OS nobody seems to want instead of using Android? What's MS's advantage here?

      That's the other half of why RT is failing: it isn't Windows (well, architecturally it's pretty close in every way except CPU architecture; but they deliberately throw that advantage away); but it also isn't particularly compelling as not-Windows.

      The question that I'm left with is "Did Microsoft fuck up a sincere attempt at making RT actually work, through some mixture of arrogance and incompetence, or was RT just a warning to Intel that if they didn't ship something that would run Windows on a tablet, M

    • Only real reason would be pen apps. There are a ton of awesome Windows only applications for use with an active stylus, such as OneNote (the Android version only has about 2% or the feature set) or PDF Annotator. Also, for working with multiple documents on a tablet, Windows 8 can't be beat (unfortunately).

      As for long battery life with full Windows 8, look no further than Atom. I'm typing this on a Clover Trail Atom tablet right now, and I'm seeing 10-14 hours of straight usage out of a single charge every

  • From a purely technical standpoint; this makes a lot of sense. Backward compatibility, fewer architectures that devs must target, lower dev and maintenance costs for OS vendors, and so on.

    However, I can't say I'm really happy about the idea of Intel gaining even more dominance in the market. AMD is still holding on, but their answer to "low power" is "we can do better graphics than Intel in less power than Intel + dedicated graphics" which is a nice perk but also addresses neither the high end of the PC market (where they can compete on price, but not really on performance) nor the tablet/smartphone/ultrabook end (where they would need at least one and ideally two steps up in manufacturing process to match Intel).

    ARM reaching into the tablet/netbook market seemed like a viable competitor; less powerful at its top end than even a mid-range Intel chip, it could operate comfortably in power ranges that Intel had no answer to. Now... not so much, and with the possible exception of legacy devices and really cheap/underpowered computers (RaPis, smartwatches, etc.) ARM risks becoming irrelevant to the "daily computer-using world". I don't care one way or another about ARM in particular, but there should be *something* out there (in reasonable usage) other than x86/x64.

    • ARM computers (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SpaceManFlip (2720507) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @06:31PM (#44814411)
      Did noone see the announcement today about the Apple A7 processors?

      Here are the specs:
      1.7GHz dual core, 64-bit RISC cpu, 1GB DDR3, quad-core GPU integrated... etc

      All of that in the new ARM-based "Apple A7" cpu is inside of a damn phone! How many heatsinks and fans do ya reckon are in that iPhone?

      Extrapolate all that with your brain head, and think what some GHz scaling with copper heatsinks and fans (etc) could do in a desktop machine? There is not long to wait before we do have laptops and desktops running on RISC architecture again, given these new published specs.

      • Those specs are kind of meaningless without benchmarks. Remember the DEC Alpha, that had a much higher clock-speed than some Intel chips, but still ran slower? It's very hard to compare clock speeds between different architectures, because there are so many other factors that are important. If you want to be sure, you have to benchmark.

        The biggest advantage Intel has is in manufacturing (as always). They seem to be on schedule to release chips at the 14nm node by next year, and I don't think other fabs ar
        • Re:ARM computers (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Erich (151) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @07:12PM (#44814747) Homepage Journal
          Woah. Woah. Woah. Woah. Woah.

          I will let people crap all over a post that's basically regurgitating Intel Developer Forum drivel, and I'm certainly not going to say that WinRT has a future.

          But I will NOT let you trash talk Alpha.

          The Alpha was simply a much better processor than anything from Intel at the time. It was pretty much the fastest out there, though you might argue with some high end POWER or MIPS 10K or something.

          Maybe you were running Windows and x86 programs on the Alpha? Those weren't blazing. But native Alpha programs were fast fast fast. And the architecture is clean and beautiful. Just beautiful.

          So you can say that ARM has not much advantage over x86 today. That's probably true. You can say that ARM sucks, has too much complexity, and the system architecture is an abomination. That's probably true also. But you leave the Alpha out of your talk unless you know what the hell you're talking about.

          • I didn't talk trash about Alpha. I just said (or tried to say) that an Intel processor and an Alpha processor both having the same clock speed will have unequal power (in that case, the Alpha would be slower). But the Alpha processors had much higher clock speeds than Intel chips of the day. In other words that wasn't a valid way to compare performance.
          • Re:ARM computers (Score:5, Interesting)

            by cbhacking (979169) <been_out_cruisin ... nOSPam.yahoo.com> on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @10:11PM (#44815869) Homepage Journal

            I actually know a guy who worked on the NT port (back when it was called "Windows NT", and this was shortly before he left MS for good) for Alpha. He still has the email from when his team supplied it to the test team, which had until that time been working mostly on x86, which said (of Windows on Alpha) "what kind of rocket fuel are you running these things on?" in reference to their speed.

            DEC screwed the pooch on that one, no doubt; they priced it as a high-end workstation chip, and lower-priced commodity PC hardware running x86 ate their lunch.

    • by hamjudo (64140) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @06:41PM (#44814505) Homepage Journal
      They claim 4.5 watts for the low power usage scenario. ARM will be with us for a long time. The ARM folks are climbing the feature/performance curve too. Don't worry about AMD, they are bringing out ARM chips too. Including the ARMv8, aka. ARM64. AMD describes more fruits of ARM embedded partnership [pcworld.com]
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @06:16PM (#44814297)

    ... fourth-generation Core i3 processors, including one that draws as little as 4.5 watts of power in specific usage scenarios.

    Off

    • by Macman408 (1308925) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @07:17PM (#44814777)

      Seriously. 4.5 watts is easily an order of magnitude higher than what you'd get from a power-efficient ARM SoC in the same scenario. Heck, 4.5W is higher than the PEAK power draw of many ARM chips. For scenarios like playing an MP3, mobile chips can measure more like 30 mW - over 2 orders of magnitude lower.

  • Which OEMs? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dingen (958134) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @06:19PM (#44814323)

    Now, with almost 50% better battery life as promised by Intel for Windows tablets, the OEMs have no real need to come out with Windows RT based tablets and hybrids anymore.

    Which OEMs would that be? Acer was already out, as are Samsung and ASUS. Does Dell still sell Windows RT products?

  • by steelfood (895457) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @06:23PM (#44814357)

    The difference hardware-wise between Surface RT and Surface Pro is significant. The RT is still fairly light and easy to carry around. The Pro is significantly larger and heavier due to a larger battery and more cooling capabilities built in, and still has less battery life. In fact, the additional size and weight was sited as one reason why the Pro wasn't any good as a tablet. Cutting the thickness and weight of tablets is not just a packaging and shipping advantage.

    The only way for x86 chips to reduce both heat and power consumption on load (because face it, if the processor heats up significantly at max load, an additional cooling system would have to be included in the machine's design) is to cut performance. And given x86's overhead, that'll never truly be able to compete with ARM.

    Of course, RT is plagued with numerous software and hardware problems and probably was dead on arrival anyway. But new x86 chips are far from being the reason it hasn't and won't take off.

    • Of course, RT is plagued with numerous software and hardware problems and probably was dead on arrival anyway. But new x86 chips are far from being the reason it hasn't and won't take off.

      Name one non-Intel based version of Windows that WASN'T DoA?

  • Look, a dead body (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @06:24PM (#44814361) Homepage Journal
    That Intel chips become more energy efficient have more implications than giving the last shot to a dead platform that Microsoft killed pretty efficiently already. In fact, could push more into oblivion Windows (RT or not), as could push other ecosystems that could become mainstream where Microsoft don't have presence or meaning at all, like in wearable computing, or pretty cheap devices where it would be better to install some linux derivative than paying the microsoft tax that cost more than the device itself.
  • by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby AT comcast DOT net> on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @06:25PM (#44814371)

    Microsoft's policies with the Surface had everything to do with killing RT. They couldn't have better engineered Surface RT to fail if they tried.

    Confusing name - identical to a product the same size and shape and not at all the same thing that is released at the same time. WTF?
    Inferior screen compared to Surface Pro
    Window 8
    Missing "Start Menu" being replaced by "Start Button"
    No initial boot to desktop
    Apps are only available through the market and with a minimum $1.50 charge
    No side-loading of apps.
    No backwards compatibility
    No ability to load anything that isn't approved by Microsoft. All of the disadvantage of Apples walled garden with none of the glamour
    Poor CPU choice to begin with
    Not enough RAM
    Poor heat management
    The price was far too high
    No ability to join a domain
    Can't legally use it for work if you read the license
    Metro should have been an option and never a forced interaction
    The worst thing of all was that Microsoft blatantly ignored their users feedback about Windows 8!
    This arrogance left a bad taste in the mouth of many and word of mouth killed the Surface RT.

    Microsoft could have made a killer Surface RT that would have done very well if they hadn't been so arrogant. The attempt to force their "market" and the Metro interface - whatever the consequences killed the Surface. By the time Haswell came out Surface RT was already dead, lost along with a few million missing tablets in a warehouse somewhere.

    • by cbhacking (979169)

      Oh, I don't doubt that MS fucked up RT pretty hard, though whether that was intentional or not I really can't say (I doubt it was; too much damn money down the drain). However, your list is so wrong it's hilarious.

      Confusing name: The Surface Pro came out months after the Surface RT, the Surface RT has RT right in the name, and everywhere I saw that was selling them the salespeople were very cautious about making sure the customer knew the difference. The bigger "confusing name" problem is probably Windows R

  • but... but... nokia just announced a new RT tablet. Obviously it was a well thought out idea, it got them.. sold to microsoft.

  • Just Windows? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by guruevi (827432) <evi AT smokingcube DOT be> on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @06:38PM (#44814477) Homepage

    I think Linux users and Mac users will profit from it as well. Haswell chips have been in the new MacBook Air and a number of other devices, not just "Windows" tablets.

    Microsoft marketing FTW.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      I was thinking the same thing Linux and Android on X86 tablets. Yes I know Windows is more popular by far but if it can run Windows then Linux should be possible.

      • by symbolset (646467) *
        Windows is not more popular on tablets. It is not even close. Windows will not be more popular on tablets with this chip.
        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          True I have 3 Android Tablets. It is more popular than Linux is unless you count Android as Linux. I am also hoping for better Ultrabooks and maybe even Chromebooks as well.

  • Cost (Score:5, Interesting)

    by puddingebola (2036796) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @06:41PM (#44814507) Journal
    Isn't one of ARM's advantages cost?
  • The only way to use the tablet interface is to write for WinRT. That includes x86 devices.

  • Because I was pretty sure Windows tablets were already oblivious.
  • Honest question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bucky0 (229117) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @11:57PM (#44816341)

    Intel has a mountain of money, the various ARM SoC guys have a pretty large revenue stream (though it's fragmented...). Is it reasonable to say that Intel's money they have to devote to pushing their power usage down is large enough to overcome ARM's advantage, or does ARM have some sort of inherent advantage (+ ARM's supporters' money) that will keep them at least at parity?

  • "could draw as little as 4.5 WATTS!!!!! in specific usage scenarios" is entirely made of weasels, including the "4.5 watts" without some solid benchmarking.

    This story is entirely press release and is made of air.

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