mobile computers replacing desktop
Posted Sep 10, 2012 13:16 UTC (Mon) by khim
In reply to: mobile computers replacing desktop
Parent article: Improving Ubuntu's application upload process
But in the mobile space they don't have the luxury of having a single binary target, and until and unless they do (which seems unlikely to happen in the short term), we have a real chance for competition between different processors, and for different processors to be used in different places.
Define "short term". We had similar situation on PC, too. Early versions of many programs supported many different CPUs (I've personally used Turbo Pascal on x86-based systems and on z80-based systems). But eventually market settled on "IBM PC compatible" and most other systems died of. Mac survived (barely), but all other IBM PC-incompatible personal computers perished. x86-incompatible systems perished without exceptions. This is why Intel and MIPS are so desperate to push their CPUs in mobile space: they know that if they'll not do that in a year or two they'll lose the opportunity forever. Already the biggest complaint WRT x86-phones Androids and MIPS-based Androids is poor ARM emulation and poor work of many popular programs with binary-only components.
In the short term it's easier to try and mandate a hardware monoculture, but I don't think anyone has enough power to do so, especially with Android and Linux _not_ mandating it and giving everyone an example and an option to work with when they run into the monoculture limitations.
Bwa-ha-ha. Just want and see. Windows NT also supported multitude of CPUs (), but in the end… market have chosen just one architecture: x86. Short-term? Nope, this is not the question of short-term. I'm not sure who'll win the mobile race (there are still some time left and MIPS and x86 both have advantages: MIPS is free and x86 makes it easy to port software from PC), but in the end it'll be one choice.
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