The Microsoft-Intel Split Became Really Clear Today

<a class=Intel’s Craig Barrett and Microsoft’s Bill Gates shaking hands in 1999, when

Photo: AP

Today in Southern California, Microsoft took the wraps off Windows 8. During the presentation, Windows chief Steven Sinofsky made sure to mention that the demo unit he was using was running an ARM processor.Not an Intel chip. That’s a first for Windows.

At the same time, Google’s Android chief Andy Rubin was in Northern California at an Intel software conference to announce that all future versions of Android would be optimised for Intel chips.

This has been coming for a long time — Microsoft announced ARM support in January, and Intel has been making a big push into Android tablets since this spring.

But it’s striking how fast both companies are moving away from each other.

They’ll still be partners — Sinofsky also showed an Intel machine running Windows 8, and gave faint praise to Intel’s efforts to make low-powered chips like its competitors. But for decades, Microsoft and Intel were so intertwined that people talked about the “Wintel” duopoly.

Not anymore.

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