Android was written for ARM processors which power most smartphones, along with the new class of slates and 3G ‘smartbooks’.
The move could put Android on a lot more slates and netbooks and be a major blow to ARM chip designs.
Renee James, Intel’s senior vp for software and services, told APC he expected to see native x86 Android to be based on the Froyo release and will be available this summer to developers.
‘Atomising’ Android wasn’t tremendously difficult, as Intel had a lot experience in Linux. And Windows, for that matter.
It means that X86 code will be fed back into the open branch that will be created for x86 and will fully accessible to the Android developer community.
It is not clear what Intel’s chum Microsoft might think of the idea. While it should be pleased that Arm is getting a kick in the family jewels it will be a lot less happy to see Android running on netbooks instead of Windows 7 or Windows 7 Mobile.
Microsoft has muttered darkly about running Android out of town in an IP war. However, if it finds itself opposite Intel in the court room, Redmond will be very lonely.