Will Broadwell Kill ARM-Based Tablets? Maybe, With a Little IT Help

Rob Enderle advocates a corporate step back from Arm based Pads to full windows / Intel architecture. With the kludginess of connectivity, speed of I/O, and pure amount of jiggery pokery that users have to manage to keep their Pads and Ipads productive, I can certainly see why he would call for this.

On the other hand the longer term trend will be to go to mobile I/O and generic device computing – most of the shortfalls of ARM and Pads rest not in the pad, but in the fact that most corporate infrastructures are not built thin or to support pads. It’s the apps, the infrastructure, and the design that’s in the way, not the devices. That will change over the next few years, and whether you use pads or PC’s the drivers are still there to get that true cloud infrastructure evolution completed.

[ hint: if it’s just your data in the cloud, then you’ve done it wrong. The apps, the virtual workstations, the heavy processing, transactions, and the security management all need to go to the cloud or you have failed. To succeed at the evolution you must first start to think of the PC or Pad as just another input / output device.]

From Rob at IT Business Edge:

If you have been watching both Apple and Samsung, who lead the tablet segment with their iOS and Android products, have experienced a sharp drop in tablet growth so far this year. Based on anecdotal information, this appears to be primarily due to two things: A large number of people that had hoped to be able to create on tablets found they couldn’t and shifted back to PCs, and a large number of people figured out that the latest tablets from either company aren’t a significant enough improvement to justify buying a new one. There is likely a third reason for the decline and that is that a lot of folks just didn’t find the tablet all that compelling in the first place and put it on the shelf never to be seen again (I’ll bet the majority of these were gifts).

PC sales, on the other hand, have started to pick up again and Intel just had a record quarter as a result. This was even before Broadwell was released, and with Broadwell, the pressure on tablets from PCs will be significantly higher.

With massive pressure on cost, the new 2-in-1 products coming to market in the second half of this year should be far more attractively priced and as noted thinner, lighter, and more capable than the iPads and Android tablets based on ARM currently in market. (These new tablets were showcased at Computex earlier this year.) Yes ARM can get thinner, but beyond this point you lose structural stability and you’ll end up with far more broken screens. In fact, whether we are talking ARM or x86, we are likely close to as far as anyone will want to go in terms of thinness because of the risk of increased breakage.

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