We recently read with some interest some press coming out of Intel Corporation about their progress developing a CISC chip for Smart Phones with the capabilities of a super computer (http://news NULL.cnet NULL.com/8301-11386_3-57543164-76/intel-developing-supercomputer-strength-smartphone-chip/).
This press release is of interest to us for a couple of reasons. On the one hand, we see the whole complex instruction set computing (CISC) architecture as very problematic for Microsoft OEMs like Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. Producing commodities like desktop PCs and laptops that are built on this CISC architecture is a mistake. In fact, CISC architecture goes too far beyond the product marketing dictum that offers should merely address the minimum feature set requested by markets. The slice of the market that would see CISC as a minimum feature set (meaning developers), is a very small subset of the overall market for personal computers.
On the other hand, crafting devices with this same architecture that are actually not commodities, but unique hardware offers, will make sense. Perhaps Intel is looking to capitalize on another market opportunity, yet to be clarified, that is not commodity driven for this type of device.
With regard to the second point of interest, for us, in this press release, it leads us to think that the Microsoft MARCOM effort around the new Windows Phone, which portrays the product as a vehicle that consumers can use to obtain an optimum personal computing experience, is leading up to an offer of software development tools for power users for this smart phone level of hardware. After all, one can easily extrapolate that developing an even more personal computing experience for those users that simply have to have smart phones, will require the users, themselves, to build some applications to run on their phones.
Empowering power users in this manner, is, itself a slippery slope. When Microsoft went this same route with the desktop personal computer the result was a lot spam, hacks, etc, along with, eventually, a doorway for a whole new, competitive operating system in the form of LINUX. But, nevertheless, the thought is intriguing. Perhaps Microsoft can build a development language for power users for these devices that is inherently secure and highly resistant to subversive, malicious activity. If so, then the language will, certainly, be one that we will want to learn more about.
Until then, we think the current MARCOM effort from Microsoft is compelling. At a minimum, it is very refreshing to see one of the first companies to offer an approach to personal computing enter this market.
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