What does the next year for computing hold? Well, in all likelihood you’ll find it at Computex. While January’s Consumer Electronics Show makes the case that the “big tent” expo is drifting out of relevancy, as manufacturers prefer the quiet of their own events to the cacophony of a shared space, Computex, in the heart of OEM country, remains relevant simply because of its long tail of releases.
It’s hard come up with a single announcement of release that defines Computex. The show is better known for introducing the broad themes that will drive the next year of computing. For the last two years these broad themes have been tablets, 3D technology and the evolution of Windows into a hardware agnostic platform.
Like the Computexes of years past, this year’s show is expected to focus on all things mobile. As IDC noted in April the PC sector is dying at the hands of the tablet, meaning that the winners of the next two to five years will be those that have the most robust mobile offerings.
Here’s some of what Hardware Canucks is expecting for this year’s show:
An AMD vs Intel mobile showdown
Intel’s keynote on Tuesday will likely be focused on what Haswell can do for mobile applications. A day later, AMD will take the stage and hype the potential of its Temash-based APUs. Both companies post impressive benchmarks, but AMD is coming into this show with the upper hand given their “best of Computex” pre-show wins.
While one company’s chip might beat the other in benchmarks, we’ll find out who the true winner is by the number of OEMs that include the respective chips in next year’s offerings.
It’s been easy to malign AMD over the last few years. The company spent most of 2011-2012 on the road to bankruptcy, though the messianic qualities of CEO Rory Read have helped reverse that.
Hot off the glow of having its chips in both of the next-generation consoles, AMD is coming to Computex with a strong mobile and GPU lineup. Is the company set for a return to greatness? Time will tell, but if AMD can keep the momentum its enjoyed during the last few months it might be capable of pulling off great things.
More Windows 8
Windows 8 first appeared unto the world at the D9 conference than at Computex 2011 (time zones considered it was the same day). Fast forward to 2013, and its now a mature OS facing a quarter-life crisis: it’s a technically sound piece of software that faces an abysmal adoption rate. Microsoft is pushing Windows as a hardware agnostic platform, but users are hesitant to adopt it on mobile platforms.
Microsoft is planning a refresh of Windows 8 for the fall, tentatively known as Windows 8.1, so we expect to see devices on the show floor running a late build of the refreshed OS. Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the OEM Division Nick Parker is set to give a keynote address on Wednesday (Tuesday North America time) that will most likely demo 8.1.
Dmitry and Sam discuss what’s expected at this year’s Computex:
PC Thunderbolt’s Birthday Party
Last year at Computex, one of the only major stories that wasn’t tablet related was Thunderbolt’s coming out party on the PC. A year later, we’re curious to see what the adoption rate has been. Can Thunderbolt compete with USB 3.0? Or will it go the way of Firewire? An answer to that question can be found by surveying the motherboards on the floor that sport Thunderbolt ports.
A Firefox Tablet
Days before the technology journalism industrial complex kicked into Computex mode, Mozilla and Hon Hai (Foxconn) surprised many with the announcement that they would be revealing a Firefox mobile device at a press event in Taipei on June 3. Since there’s only one show in town on that date, it’s safe to assume that they’ll be showing something off at the Computex pre-show press event on June 3.
Hardware Canucks will have full coverage of Computex all this week from Taipei.