The Consumer Matters is the blog of Leslie Grandy, aka Gearhead Gal.  My passion is creating and delivering compelling products that delight customers through simple and elegant user experience design.

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Entries in Intel (3)


CES 2011 Video Moments

I hope you enjoy these two video montages of the sites and sounds of CES. It's a visual and auditory mashup, but so is walking around the show floor.

And, just in case you think it's all glam and glitter at CES, please see my post on Technorati, Ten Things I Hate About CES.


Sights and Sounds of CES

My ear drums still play a rhythm that reminds me of this song


Wind River's Android Platform Fuels Fragmentation Fire

First Published on Technorati: December 10, 2009 at 7:20AM

Wind River announced this week the launch of its Android platform, which is intended to aid device manufacturers in the realization of custom Android solutions. The software is designed to extend the kernel through rich media enablers and improved power management, and relieve the application developer from the burden of integrating applications across many devices. The platform will be made available via open source.

Reaction to the news was mixed, but some Android developers are sharing a familiar refrain: "... this just represents one more step toward a dangerously fragmented Android universe."

The negative reaction seems to reflect a bias against the idea of an emerging middleware solution that could potentially provide a path to harmony across ODMs. Creating such an architectural layer, if broadly accepted by multiple, competing hardware manufacturers, could also simplify the path for developers to achieve deeper ROM integration across multiple UI-device combos.

The Wind River platform could also facilitate cross platform portability of Intel-based solutions, helping to bolster the company's profile as a viable option for low cost portable devices, regardless of the operating system. Industry analysts have suggested that Intel's current position as the power behind processor-hungry Windows computers creates a credibility gap for the company in the price sensitive consumer market for mobile devices.

Wind River claims to be the global leader in device software optimization (DSO) today, supporting many competing names in the consumer electronics market. And the company does have existing relationships with CE vendors to commercialize embedded Linux solutions today. In June of this year, Intel entered an agreement to acquire Wind River Systems Inc. Under the agreement, Intel acquired all outstanding Wind River common stock in July for $11.50 per share in cash, or approximately $884 million in the aggregate.

The plan to release a Texas Instruments-based OMAP Android solution was obviously underway prior to the Intel acquisition, and may be the key to unlock Android for many electronics manufacturers who can extend development previously done with Wind River on the Linux kernel, and have been afraid to risk committing more resources to Android.

Porting solutions and services to Android through the Wind River platform could also help electronics manufacturers get innovations to market more quickly, especially in the emerging mobile Internet device (MID) category before the market gets more competitive with the highly awaited introduction of a 10.1" Apple tablet computer, expected by analysts to enter the market in the first half of 2010.

Intel's acquisition of Wind River may give the company leverage to grow quickly in low end netbooks, smartphones and MIDs, segments of the personal computing market Intel does not dominate today. 

Having successfully supported Apple's OS transition from PowerPC to its Xeon processors, Intel could extend the Wind River platform to support other OS development environments besides Android, including its own Linux based OS, Moblin. Such a move would give the company an opportunity to position itself with hardware manufacturers as the platform on which they can develop a single solution to deploy across multiple operating systems.