Transmeta and the Ipod

What does Transmeta and the Ipod have in common?

Well, that question was posed by this post and its comments .The question was, did Transmeta never have a foot to stand on in the first place?

I dont think so.

Take a look at this article.

What we have here is a prediction that 30% of all non-desktop IT infrastructure will be virtualized. Hell, I use virtualization at home and I’d do it on my desktops as well - that way I can future proof my working environment across hardware failures and obsolescence.

But, one of the big problems with virtualization is the ”Ipod/Itunes Syndrome” (my own definition!). You buy into iPod, you buy through iTunes and now you are non-portable. Even though it is called “music wherever you go”. You virtualize on X86 and suddenly, you have troubles migrating live VMs across architectures. And you cannot shut VMs down - they run websites you know.

Transmeta had virtualization at the hardware level right from the beginning (Code Morphing). That could have been a compelling offering if it had been sold properly. Code Morphing has been widely panned because it had originally claimed native X86 like performance, which did not actually happen. But when you virtualize, you are aware that you will sacrifice some performance.

Why has the Mac suddenly become such a compelling work environment - because of Parallels . You want to develop on Linux, just create a VM - you want to play World of Warcraft on Windows, you got a VM. But the biggest problem is there is’nt a viable MacOSX VM to develop in (Leo4VMWare non-withstanding). Could Transmeta, potentially have made a viable solution? Probably.

Why do I think so - because of this breakthrough. The technological grounding behind this would be the basis of an advanced virtualization technology - something that Transmeta could have done.


Transmeta and the Ipod


November 21, 2008

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