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Atom not a crap choice for tablet PCs, says Intel

Walking around the corridors at the Grand Hyatt, you come across all sorts of strange conversations. On the tenth floor, Intel has taken more sweets than a greedy kid in a pick-n-mix. So what has KitGuru heard?

ARM has been pwning the tablet space, because Intel needs to work on a new processor – one that will provide a winning combination of performance, battery life and price. Right?

But what if Intel already has that chip?

A specialist team inside Intel, noticed something strange about performance under Windows with the Atom. When required to play a game – all of the (near)useless tasks that the Microsoft operating systems ask a poor tablet to perform… disappear.

What you’re left with are the core functions necessary for basic operation. The kind of operation that a user might want to undertake, with their tablet.

If Intel’s engineers are correct – and the problem lies squarely with Microsoft rather than the hardware – then this could have huge implications. It also brings up a very harsh question.

How long will Intel accept Microsoft’s inability to deliver a tight operating system for mobile products ?

Especially when that ‘lack of delivery’ directly impacts the chip-giant’s ability to compete with ARM – for a bigger share of the fastest growing IT sector on the planet.

From what we have heard, this special Intel team spent less than 3 weeks working on disabling sections of Windows,before it was able to see a big an improvement on measurable usability, performance and battery life.

If Intel hardware engineers took ‘no time at all’ to begin to resolve which parts of Windows ‘kill the tablet experience’ then, surely, Microsoft have exactly the same data. Probably for some time. But it has yet to react.

Intel's engineers seem certain that the blame lies with Microsoft - who'd have thunked it?

KitGuru says: It would be amazing to think that simply stripping Windows down to its core essentials, would be enough to get decent tablet performance from an Atom or Fusion derivative. If Intel’s engineers are correct, and the Atom is already plenty powerful enough to run a Windows 7 tablet – if only the operating system would step up…   Then where does this leave Microsoft?

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