UMPC Portal is reporting that NVIDIA is concentrating on Tegra-powered smartbooks running Windows CE, as Android is not ready for laptop devices. This is surprising, to say the least, as Windows CE has not been popular for powering big-screen devices. While Windows CE is a more mature (read aging) OS, most apps in the Windows Mobile ecosystem don’t run on Windows CE, so I’m not sure what the gain is for NVIDIA. Why is NVIDIA reaching for Windows CE over Android? ComputerWorld interviewed NVIDIA Mobile Business Unit GM Mike Rayfield, who provided the company’s thought process:
Nvidia chose to work with Windows CE first, said Rayfield, because it “is a rock-solid operating system that has been shipped billions of times.”
Windows CE also has a “low memory footprint and a good collection of apps,” Rayfield said.
He said Nvidia is also improving Tegra for use on Windows Mobile, a close variant of Windows CE, for ARM-based smartphones.
Nvidia is working with Google to accelerate Android, which is based on Linux, when running on Tegra hardware. But it will be about a year before that delivers for smartbooks, due to existing limitations in Android, he said.
So it looks like those wanting to see an Android smartbook running the NVIDIA Tegra will have at least a year to wait. I’m not sure if a Windows CE smartbook is going to set the world on fire no matter what NVIDIA may think.