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Wipe the Windows out of your eyes

Wipe the Windows out of your eyes

Posted Oct 5, 2007 17:27 UTC (Fri) by hazelsct (guest, #3659)
In reply to: Wipe the gunk out of your eyes by mingo
Parent article: Memory part 2: CPU caches

...this statement ignores the complete economic picture: it's not just the hardware that matters, but the total stack that is in a computing solution. Nobody buys just the raw hardware - the software is an inextractable part of the equation.

This is why free software is superior, *all* of our software already runs on *all* the hardware (e.g. 95%+ of Debian builds on all eleven arches), and very well at that! "Programmability" is bunk, all modern CPU architectures are programmable, we're just the only ones bothering to program all of them -- or rather, the only ones open enough to let people adapt our programs to all of them.

So when Sun starts selling its 8-core 8-threads/core Sparcs next year, Solaris, Linux, and maybe one or two BSDs will be there, Windoze and MockOS will not. GNOME, KDE, Compiz Fusion, Croquet, Looking Glass, Second Life, Sugar, etc. will be there; Aero, Carbon, and any 3-D environment they dream up will not. We will have better servers, and better immersive 3-D performance, the games will follow, and it will be over for MS and Apple.

Okay, maybe it won't happen quite that fast. But follow the trends: we were first on Itanium (but who cares?), first on AMD64 (and AMD credits us with driving that platform's success), our software is all over ARM where only a minuscule fraction of Microsoft's is (on "Pocket PC" or "Windows Mobile" or whatever they're calling it now). When the next CPU architecture breakthrough comes, we'll be there and they'll need to play catch-up, again -- hopefully the hardware won't wait for Microsoft this time.

Speaking of which, this is also how DEC fumbled the marketing of Alpha -- they waited for MS to have NT ready before releasing it, and lost more than a year in that wait. They should have bypassed NT, released earlier with VMS and OSF/1 (or Digital Unix, etc.), dominated the workstation/server market, then used Linux on the low end to ramp up the volume and stay faster than Intel.

MS is darned lucky that modern x86-compatible CPUs run 64-bit code somewhat fast with low power consumption. Otherwise Linux on Alpha/Itanic/PPC64 on the high and end ARM on the low end would have eaten their lunch. But then, we're doing that *now* on handhelds and smart phones, we're on Cell and they're not, and we'll beat them to the 64-way Sparcs!

Resistance is futile. World domination is inevitable.

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Not Windows specific

Posted Oct 11, 2007 19:51 UTC (Thu) by renox (subscriber, #23785) [Link]

Uhm, the next architecture clash I expect to happen is not what you're waiting for (a new architecture gaining some marketshare) but low power x86 cores gaining over ARM in the 'intelligent phone' space.

Plus even free software has portability issues: the OLPC doesn't use an x86 for nothing..

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