Originally Posted by bettieblue
So Intel, which is the King of chip makers is going nuts right now trying to shrink some form of x86 down to compete with ARM. I think for tablets this time next year they will be there. There whole "thin and light" stuff is pretty good now. They 1-2 revs coming out before Windows 8. This time next year, Windows 8 tablets on Intel's latest x86 chip for tablets = ability to run most x86 apps.
The line is going to blur between quad core ARM chips and Intel's latest attempt to shrink, the deciding factor may just be the many thousands of x86 apps out there now.
While there are many thousands of x86 apps out there, that doesn't mean that any large percentage of them are usable on a tablet. Consider how successful x86 tablets have been for the last decade.
Even if ARM chips become powerful enough to run x86 apps that does not mean that the apps will be anymore usable on an ARM tablets.
Part of the success of the iPad, the so-called post-pc device, is that the apps have been designed specifically for the user, the device and the task at hand... "task at hand" I like that
The legacy x86 apps were designed for a large display (or displays) with multiple concurrent windows, granular context-sensitive cursor, positioned by a mouse or separate touchpad, with mouseover hints, right-click contextual menus, and a separate keyboard with kb shortcuts.
This all changes with a tablet. Take something as simple as "text select/copy/paste". It's trivial with a mouse -- not so much with a finger.
Or typing on a popup on-screen kb that covers the document being edited.
Or navigating using controls, links, etc. that are small, close together and hidden by the finger poised to select among them.
To make legacy x86 apps usable on a tablet, the UI for the above must be modified -- at the minimum.
Then there is the matter of accessibility and focus -- with a smaller screen size, single window, larger controls -- you must jealously husband screen real estate, being carful of what and where you put things (so they don't get obscured by popups or fingers). All the while being careful not to add distracting clutter.
Generally, a tablet is used: get in; do something; get out. Speed and focus are key. This is quite different from the way a desktop or laptop is used -- longer sessions multiple open windows, interacting among several apps at the same time.
My point in all this is that legacy x86 apps must be repurposed and re-implimented to run on a tablet -- be it x86 or ARM.
You will, likely, need to rethink the app and storyboard it before re-impliimenting it.
Then, you have 2 codebases to maintain -- the desktop/laptop version and the tablet version.
Not difficult, but not easy/inexpensive either!