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The MIPS Processor and the $150 Linux Netbook

May 29, 2009, 19:34 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Caitlyn Martin)

"About a year ago the first MIPS32 based netbooks appeared, mainly in Europe and Asia. MIPS64 based netbooks are now on the market as well and are competing with ARM processors for the low end of the next generation of super low cost machines. We are talking about systems that reportedly will sell for as little as US $130 and which have already sold for as little as US $149. Say hello to the $150 netbook.

"Last week I wrote about two different projections claiming that Linux will recapture 50% of the netbook market, either in three years or by next year. Compelling MIPS and ARM based systems are the reason I believe those projections are correct. Current versions of Windows won't run on ARM or MIPS processor based systems at all. Windows CE can and does but offers the functionality of a PDA, not the functionality one expects in a miniature PC. Even if Microsoft were to adopt a crash program to port to these platforms many of these systems lack the horsepower to run Windows acceptably if at all. Lightweight, optimized versions of Linux are another matter entirely. They run just fine for many applications on the MIPS based systems released so far despite processor speeds ranging from 336 to 797 MHz."

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