"At the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai this week, the buzz was about the Atom processor, mobile Internet devices, and Linux. What wasn't buzzing? Microsoft.
Welcome to the brave new world of computing sans Redmond.
At IDF, there was little media focus on Intel's next-generation Nehalem chip and even less on the Centrino 2 processor--both of which will run Microsoft software.
The focus was on devices that won't necessarily or exclusively run Microsoft software: Handheld-size MIDs--shorthand for mobile Internet devices--and Netbooks. Netbooks will run both Microsoft Windows and the Linux operating systems, but the MID category appears to be shaping up as a non-Microsoft enclave. MID makers, who are expected to begin shipping devices later this quarter, include Lenovo, Toshiba, Panasonic, and LG Electronics.
Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Ultra Mobility Group, said in his IDF keynote: "As always, we partner with Microsoft." Then he proceeded to not mention Microsoft again--and mentioned Linux a lot. "We announced an initiative last year. A Linux-based initiative. In order to get the form factor down, to get the cost down, and to even get lower power levels beyond what was achievable. We have an entire ecosystem behind it. Ubuntu and Red Flag. The initiative is called Moblin," Chandrasekher said."