Wow. Â My first thought was “What, AMD and Intel working together?” Â My second thought was “Awesome! Â More people behind Meego!” Â My third thought was “Wait, AMD is supporting a software platform? Â 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. Â ARM via Android and iPhone is taking over more and more market share in the global processor market. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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. Â RIM and WP7 will fight it out for a small bit of enterprise market, but the lions share is the two goliaths. Â 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. Â Debian in your pocket? Â Sweet. Â Meego promotes free and open source linux-desktop technologies whicih benefit not just the Meego platform but Linux desktops everywhere. Â 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. Â Examples? Â Telepathy, dBus, Tracker, gstreamer, webkit, Â 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 theÂ beginingÂ of a new era for AMD. Â AMD for the longest time was heads down on designing and fabricating chips. Â About 18 months ago AMD spun off the fabricating part of that equation into a company named Global Foundaries. Â Since then AMD has been chip and system design through and through. Â AMD’s chief competitor though, Intel, has for the longest time been a big hardware and software shop. Â This strategy has worked rather well for Intel — promoting software which promotes their Intel chips. Â Things like Moblin, the Intel C compiler etc. all contribute here. Â AMD could really take advantage of this idea and run with it, running with what I am going to call the “Google Trick”. Â 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. Â 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: Â I own AMD stock.