AMD Joins Meego with Nokia and… Intel?
Wow. My first thought was “What, AMD and Intel working together?” My second thought was “Awesome! More people behind Meego!” My third thought was “Wait, AMD is supporting a software platform? That’s new.”
One at a time:
First — Intel and AMD both understand that they are in the fight for their lives right now, but necessarily just with each other, but with ARM. ARM via Android and iPhone is taking over more and more market share in the global processor market. All of our smartphones are running ARM, most of your tablets are running ARM and ARM is moving more and more into the netbook space. A quick Google for “ARM vs X86″ turns up not technical comparisons of the two ISAs but instead recent article after recent article of market analysis between the different chips. It therefore makes sense for both of them to get into the game and promote some cross-platform software.
Second — I honestly believe right now that smartphone OS’s are a two horse race, iPhone vs. Android. RIM and WP7 will fight it out for a small bit of enterprise market, but the lions share is the two goliaths. Meego could very well be a solid third contender, which I think is awesome for many reasons.
- More competition means consumers win.
- Meego is also my personal favorite. Debian in your pocket? Sweet. Meego promotes free and open source linux-desktop technologies whicih benefit not just the Meego platform but Linux desktops everywhere. That’s right — every dollar that Intel, Nokia and now AMD sink into Meego goes into a technology that, more often than not, will be integrated into the next version of your Ubuntu or Fedora desktop. Examples? Telepathy, dBus, Tracker, gstreamer, webkit, gtk, qt, clutter, kernel power management, low power drivers, apt, rpm and the list goes on.
Thirdly, and what I think is by far the most interesting, is the possibility that this is the begining of a new era for AMD. AMD for the longest time was heads down on designing and fabricating chips. About 18 months ago AMD spun off the fabricating part of that equation into a company named Global Foundaries. Since then AMD has been chip and system design through and through. AMD’s chief competitor though, Intel, has for the longest time been a big hardware and software shop. This strategy has worked rather well for Intel — promoting software which promotes their Intel chips. Things like Moblin, the Intel C compiler etc. all contribute here. AMD could really take advantage of this idea and run with it, running with what I am going to call the “Google Trick”. There is probably a much better term for this, but what I mean is to support products and services which might not be direct revenue drivers in order to support complimentary products which do drive revenue. Google I think is king at this — products like Picasa, Wave, Google Voice, Goog 411, Google Sketchup, Google Earth, etc. etc rarely make a dime, yet they all contribute to “Googliness” and eventually drive Google search, which is key.
Full Disclosure: I own AMD stock.