Rant about past, Intel Atom, MS Windows Vista & 7, Linux – and what does this all have to do with netbooks?

I guess my ADHD took the best of me when I wrote the following rant (originally as comment to an article, shamed to admit) after I came upon a 4 year old article:

Intel: MeeGo exists because Microsoft let us down

Looking back at this 4 years later is amusing… Atom was pretty much something Intel had no choice but to go with – unless they wanted to lose a piece of personal computer pie. Netbooks & Ultra-mobile PC’s were on their way and a low power/heat CPU was necessary to do if Intel wanted their x86-line CPU’s on them.
Some seem to think that Intel was causing MS extra work – and that’s just bull. Be there no Atom MS would have had to compete with mini-laptop OS’s under a different architecture altogether – most likely ARM.
Now, porting an OS, even a huge mess tightly tied to CPU (Windows runs some crazy stuff in kernel space – ring 0 – to make it faster, such as parts of font system [!?] and, if installed&used, parts of their database server, etc.), is something definitely in grasp of MS – it’s not even the first non-x86 port among Windows NT familyline… No doubt they could’ve and would’ve ported their next version (why you don’t see vista on netbooks explained below) of windows to ARM CPU’s, but then what? Linux already compiled and ran fine on ARM, and as for the 3rd party software – well, anything not hardware specific compiles just as well on one as on another system, and most of the software people run on Linux is F/OSS, their source code is not only available but often even adjusted between distros and they are all available from software repositories of your distro, and like Windows Update installs OS updates, in Linux all software you have installed from the repositories get’s updated the same way the OS does. Continue reading