You may not want that Windows Bay Trail tablet after all

encore-marquee-heroAn old friend has been telling me for months that the future of personal computing was coming with new Windows tablets using the Bay Trail system-on-chip architecture built with Intel Silvermont cores. Silvermont is the first major Atom revision in years and is designed to be much faster. Bay Trail would lead to $199 8-inch Windows tablets while also fixing the limitations of Intel’s previous Clover Trail. Well Bay Trail units are finally shipping but my techie friend is sorely disappointed with his.

The lure of this platform for Intel is great. Manufacturers could use the same chassis and chipsets for everything except gaming boxes and servers. Eight inch tablets, ChromeBooks, Ultrabooks, 10-inch tablets, and netbooks, all one chassis with up […]

Apple’s challenges require leaving Steve Jobs behind

new_apple_campusThis is the second of two columns about the future of Apple. My last column looked at Apple’s immediate challenges in the iPhone business, while this one looks at the company’s mid-to-long term prospects and how best to face them. The underlying question is whether Apple has peaked as a company, but I think the more proper way to put it is how must Apple change in order to continue to grow?

Even as some analysts are downgrading Apple based on reported cancellation of component orders, saner heads have been crunching the numbers and realized that Apple still has a heck of an iPhone business. So if you are a trader I […]

Advance to the rear: Is military Win8 computing the future of computing?

armydriveThe U.S. government, which is usually very slow to adopt new technologies, signed an agreement recently to move much of the Department of Defense to Windows 8. The three-year, $617 million deal for up to two million seats is a good proxy for where American business users are headed. Or is it? Microsoft of course hopes it is, but I think that’s far from a sure thing.

This isn’t just trading Windows XP for Windows 8. The U.S. Navy, which isn’t (yet) included in this deal, only recently signed their own agreement with Microsoft to take the fleet to Windows 7. But Windows 8, being touch enabled and running all the way from smart phones to […]

Who’s your daddy? Intel swoons for Apple

Just days after I wrote a column saying Apple will dump Intel and make Macintosh computers with its own ARM-based processors, along comes a Wall Street analyst saying no, Intel will be taking over from Samsung making the Apple-designed iPhone and iPod chips and Apple will even switch to x86 silicon for future iPads. Well, who is correct?

Maybe both, maybe neither, but here’s what I think is happening.

Apple is dependent on Samsung for making most of its Cupertino-designed chips, yet Apple has grown to hate Samsung over time, seeing the Korean company as an intellectual property thief. So Apple wants out of the relationship, this much is clear to everyone.

Steve Ballmer’s Dilemma

Napier & Son was the most successful British manufacturer of aircraft engines in the 1920s and 30s with their 12-cylinder Napier Lion powering 163 different types of aircraft between 1918 and 1935. Over that 17 year period the Lion grew from 450 to 1350 horsepower and was, for awhile, the most powerful aircraft, boat, and car engine in the world, holding world speed records in all three venues at the same time. And then the Napier Lion was suddenly gone — a lesson from which Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer could benefit if he and his company don’t repeat it.

Napier perfected their Lion engine over those 17 years, improving it in every way until it was the […]