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Nvidia Lauds Windows CE Over Android For Smartbooks 263

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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  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Thursday June 18, 2009 @03:12PM (#28378497) Homepage

    So you're saying software designed for mobile phones doesn't work as well on a little computer like device [] as software which was designed for little computer like devices []?

    Wow. Amazing. Incredible.

    And they're the same age too!

    No, wait, Windows CE is 13 years old. It's had a little more time to design the window manager for different screen sizes.

  • Corrupted opinion? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @03:15PM (#28378573)

    Isn't this NVIDIA opinion somehow influenced by having Microsoft as customer for their Tegra chips going to upcoming Zune HD?

  • Drivers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @03:25PM (#28378819)

    From TFA:
    "The world soundly rejected the first netbooks that came out with Linux," he said. "Printers didn't work, and devices didn't get recognized. The whole thing was a mess."

    I'm sure all printers come with WinCE drivers these days. Or maybe Nvidia knows how to install Vista drivers on CE?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @03:29PM (#28378885)

    This is standard operating procedure for Microsoft contractees. Happened just this last month with Asus where as soon as Microsoft negotiated a new deal with Asus, Asus out of the blue started spouting anti-Linux FUD.

    The Zune HD contract with NVidia obviously has the same type of garbage built in.

  • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xocet_00 ( 635069 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @03:38PM (#28379047)
    "No, wait, Windows CE is 13 years old. It's had a little more time to design the window manager for different screen sizes."

    While I agree with everything you've said here, and that the age of Windows CE makes the comparative shortcomings in Android somewhat excusable, it doesn't change the fact that Windows CE seems to do what NVidia wants and Android doesn't.

    Android being new is a perfectly valid excuse, but in a here-and-now business sense Nvidia just has to go with what works... I guess.

    Writing this is hurting me. I really, really hate Windows CE (or Windows Mobile or whatever they call it these days.)
  • by chrb ( 1083577 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @03:42PM (#28379111)

    As Wikipedia says [], native code runs under Android fine. The Chrome web browser runs on Android. Chrome is not written in Java.

    What you might mean is that you can't run native code on some specific mobile phone type device without hacks, and that you can't upload native code to the App Store. That much is true. In the first case, some manufacturers like to lock down their devices - the iphone is also pretty much locked down. In the second, Google want platform independence. But Android itself can clearly run native code - most of the software that it ships with is written in C. And you can distribute and install whatever Java code you want on any Android device, which is better than Apple's "you only load what we want you to load on a phone" rules.

  • by Joseph Lam ( 61951 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @03:48PM (#28379243)

    Mike Rayfield:

    "The world soundly rejected the first netbooks that came out with Linux," he said. "Printers didn't work, and devices didn't get recognized. The whole thing was a mess."

    And how is Windows CE/Mobile any better in that regard? I would think it's even worse.

  • Of Course (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bertoelcon ( 1557907 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @03:51PM (#28379309)
    The Zune HD that has been said to have a version of Win CE as the OS.
  • by demachina ( 71715 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @03:55PM (#28379401)

    "You do know that you can use C/C++ code right? JNI is fully supported you know."

    You do know Google doesn't really officially support native code apps and there are no defined native mode API's to access the things you might want to access in native mode like graphics and audio. There are interfaces there but they are internal, not published and are "use at your own risk". If you use them chances are relatively high your native code will break the first time Google puts out a new version of Android.

    I think the grandparent meant to say iPhone supports native code as a first class citizen while Google doesn't. You certainly can do some kinds of native mode apps that don't interact much with the hardware and OS, or do so only through clunky JNI.

    Java is great for a lot of things, for ease of development, portability and improved security, but it is something of a limiting factor for applications that need maximum performance or to get closer to the metal.

    Not sure if its intentional or not but in areas like media players it gives Google a degree of exclusivity in app development since they can use native code and their internal API's whenever they want, while that is a relatively dangerous thing to do for third party app developers.

  • by ( 653730 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @04:02PM (#28379525)

    Well, back in 2002 he was not the only one. He has probably changed their opinion now that Linux is crucial for their survival.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @04:16PM (#28379819)

    Does any one find this sentence scary: "Nvidia is busy optimizing its multimedia-savvy Tegra system-on-chip for Windows CE."?

    Why are we now optimizing hardware for software? Hardware should be designed to be as accurate and effective as possible. Let the OS optimize itself for the hardware. It is much more difficult to redesign hardware than software (hence the hard- and soft- prefixes). Hopefully, this is just a poorly worded sentence and we are not headed towards Winvidia.

  • by Dragonslicer ( 991472 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @05:09PM (#28380693)

    Personally, I think Android is not a very good choice for netbooks; Ubuntu Netbook edition is a much better choice.

    It's disturbing how many people still don't realize that software that's designed for a specific purpose is better at that purpose than software that was designed for some other purpose.

  • Re:So... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GooberToo ( 74388 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @05:19PM (#28380839)

    And ultimately people forget that Android is really Linux + a framework. Once you understand Android = Linux + framework, its easy to see your point is 100% accurate. There is no technical merit here. It's all about cross promotion and marketing. In short, the article is nothing but a marketing fluff piece meant to convince the simple minded that Android doesn't have technical merit.

    Make no mistake about it, Microsoft is very scared of Android. Android is Google and Microsoft has been very mindful who is pushing it. In several cases some hardware manufacturers have publicly stated they are very excited about their Android offering. Shortly afterwards Microsoft announces a hardware/software deal with manufacturer. A month or two later said hardware manufacturer suddenly announces they have brokered a new deal to create MS-based phones and their Android offering may never see the market. Hardly surprising - yet more anti-competitive behavior from MS.

    No bones about it, Microsoft is up to their old tricks of paying for editorials, paying for reviews, back door meetings to prevent footholds of their competitors, and working hard to price its competitors out of the market. In short, since the beginning of the year, just about any and all articles which proclaim MS' OS in the phone, smart phone, netbook, smartbook markets are far more likely than not, marketing fluff pieces - paid for either directly or indirectly by MS or a MS cross promotion, back room deal.

    The fact that Apple, MS and Blackberry are all running scared of Android is very telling.

  • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @05:40PM (#28381169) Homepage

    Exactly what I was thinking. That is so incredibly ass-backwards - in terms of complexity, man hours, and cost, I don't know what to say. There is a REASON we don't do everything in silicon: it's cheaper, by far, to do it in software. You optimize your OS for the hardware, not vice versa.

  • by mejogid ( 1575619 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @05:49PM (#28381287)

    now that Linux is crucial for their survival.

    While I'd agree that linux has started to make an impact on mobile devices, thanks primarily to its non /GNU implementation in Android, it's clearly not [] the only thing keeping ARM alive (apologies for the wikipedia link, the sources seem to check out). While their profit/unit may be low, they've got £50 million net income, 1,500 employees and and have shipped 10 billion devices including 98% of phones. Linux may be a growing market, but suggesting it's keeping them afloat is ludicrous.

  • by Tweenk ( 1274968 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @05:57PM (#28381399)

    Google gives you Java (for App Store), but their own applications run native code?

    Yes, because they want everything in the app store to be forward compatible: in future Android might run on chips that are not ARM, so native code would break, and though it would be the developers' fault it would still make their app store look bad.

    Windows CE runs native, the portability point is pretty invalid.

    Most of the native apps run on ARM chips only, and won't work e.g. on MIPS based devices (also supported by Windows CE). The portable apps use .NET Compact Framework, so the situation is more or less equivalent to Java.

    on iPhone I have proper GCC/G++ compilers

    Which you can't use without jailbreaking, so your argument is instantly moot.

  • by Machtyn ( 759119 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @06:05PM (#28381525) Homepage Journal
    Wasn't the ASUS thing proven to be some blogger's attempt to befoul ASUS? Why yes, yes it was. "just a quick whois reveals that the domain was registered by some guy with a hotmail address using godaddy as a registrar []"
  • by gemada ( 974357 ) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:26PM (#28382549)
    WinCE isn't even a good OS for phones...unless you enjoy rebooting your phone twice a day. And try suppporting activesync for desktops for a while and see how soon you want to send all WinCE devices to the bottom of the sea.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll