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I'm in the audience of Microsoft's Partner Preview for Computex 2011, basically an event to give a sneak peak of the future of Windows to press and MS partners here in Taipei.

Of course I'm talking about Windows 8. On stage there are several systems running a wide variety of hardware. Microsoft has machines from AMD, Intel, NVIDIA (presumably a Tegra 2 or Kal-El notebook?), Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. That's five players when Windows 7 really only launched on platforms from two different silicon vendors. 

We've got a race here folks and it's anyone's game. Intel has the lionshare of traditional PCs, but Qualcomm is really the Intel of the ultra mobile world. How this race plays out over the next two years is going to be very interesting. With five players here today, you can expect that list to dwindle over time. Remember when there were 4 players in the x86 CPU race?


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  • andrewlanewildman - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    I guess I'm too young to remember when there were 4 players in the x86 CPU race. Who were the other two? Reply
  • Gamingphreek - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    You had:

    1. Intel
    2. AMD
    3. Cyrix
    4. IDT/IBM
  • hvakrg - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    Isn't Via supposed to be there instead of IDT/IBM? Or did they come later? Reply
  • Gamingphreek - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    I thought Via bought Cyrix later but I could have gotten them all mixed up. Reply
  • hvakrg - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    Ah that might be I really don't know :) Reply
  • velis - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Yes, they did Reply
  • bji - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Huh? National Semiconductor bought Cyrix.

    Via bought IDT, although to say that IDT was a major player in the x86 space is definitely a stretch.

    IBM did have partnerships with Cyrix and built Cyrix designed chips and sold them under their own brand name. You could also call IBM a major player back then but that is only slightly less of an overstatement than to say the same about IDT.

    There were really only three competitive x86 vendors:

    1. Intel
    2. AMD
    3. Cyrix

    Cyrix was the least competitive and didn't last. They offered incredible value though in the late 90's, but never came close to competing in the high end, or even the midrange really. They were strictly low end.

    Back in the days of the Pentium II, AMD K6-2, and Cyrix M2, the x86 world was a much more interesting place than now. Nothing interesting ever happens anymore, the industry just kind of rolls along at a predictable pace.
  • pcreso - Saturday, June 11, 2011 - link

    What about even earlier... NEC had better than Intel 8086 cpus in the early PC days... Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_former_IA-32_... Reply
  • shabby - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    Cyrix and Via. Reply

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