To be clear, Linux can run on Clover Trail because it is an x86 chip. But it’s unlikely any device maker will want to go to the trouble to do it. Instead, Intel is giving Windows 8 the advantage of being the only OS that Clover Trail will support.
Intel confirmed at its developer forum this week that it would not support Linux for Clover Trail.
The Inquirer says the issue may be due to the power issues with the chip. An Intel engineer said it’s a lot of work to provide additional OS support. So, it’s entirely possible that support may come at a later point. Still, the reasons for leaving out Linux are not so readily apparent.
But nonetheless, the news shows how far behind Microsoft is in the mobile race. Essentially, Intel is giving Microsoft a handicap in the market. But it’s questionable if the strategy will work.
Microsoft is in a deep hole due to its stumbling in the mobile market. Intel may be giving Windows 8 a bit of an advantage, but the competition is still quite fierce with Apple iOS and Google Android.
The big question for me is the enterprise market. Apple is killing it in the corporate world. Microsoft is supposed to have this breakthrough Windows 8 tablet that has the enterprise in mind. This handicap does not seem to do much to help fill that gap.