Intel’s desperate to get into the mobile game. Their chips power desktops and laptops, but the future is obviously smartphones and tablets. When it comes to that space, Intel has 0% market share. Now that’s going to change this year thanks to Orange, an operator who has committed to launching a smartphone based on an Intel reference design, and Motorla, who has promised to design the ultimate Android smartphone which should hit the market at some point in late Q3. But what about tablets? That’s where today’s announcement comes in. The chip company has just announced “Studybook”, which is a reference design that includes a 7 inch 1024 x 600 pixel screen, 1 GB of RAM, the Intel Atom Z650, and best of all it’ll be able to withstand drops, dust, and liquid. Companies like ASUS, Toshiba, Samsung, anyone really, can now just call up Intel, get everything they need to make the “Studybook”, and start pumping them out of their factories. How much will one of these things cost? According to Engadget, less than $200. Forget the iPad, this is the next big thing.
The bigger question is which operating system will dominate the tablet market in the future? Let’s not kid ourselves, Android tablets are horrible, the iPad owns the market, and Microsoft’s betting the future on Windows 8. Unless Google adopts Microsoft’s strategy of controlling their mobile operating system, then we don’t see Android’s situation improving. And as for Microsoft, it’s really hard to say how good Windows 8 on a tablet is because … well, we don’t have any Windows 8 tablets to test. There are a few machines in our office running the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and we think it’s a fine platform, but we’ll be the first to admit that it’s clearly an operatins system designed for tablets.
Intel versus ARM? Who cares. The real war is iOS versus Windows.
Note: If you want to see a video of this thing in action, visit Engadget.