Is the x86 architecture really going anywhere? Based on the argument for its ongoing existence highlighted here, it would seem as if we are not going to see it going anywhere any time soon. The basics of the line of thought are as follows. New and old applications are designed for this architecture, so clearly any argument for moving on up seems completely unlikely. But the question remains — are we unwilling to start developing beyond x86 out of need or laziness and a lack of adoption for the next step?
Open source/Linux users have been quick to point out that on the x86 it doesn’t matter due to cross compilers, and that this is largely a Microsoft problem. I am inclined to agree, but regardless, it’s still a Microsoft world. So this means we are left with a need to care whether or not we stick it out with x86 or move on to x86-64. Yes, it’s all x86 at the end of the day, but there is still the argument that us sticking to x86 is what has prevented most of the world from moving on to x86-64 and beyond into the future.
I believe architecture, at this point, is simply not the problem. It is from the perspective of locking use into a narrow world of uni-directional software, perhaps, but I am inclined to believe it’s human nature that keeps us here. Think about it. We spend a butt-ton of money on the latest office suite, etc. to be locally installed onto our computers. Then let’s say a new architecture is released that blows x86 out of the water in every way and is even more cost effective! Awesome… just one problem. You are up for buying the new computer and you were upgrading anyway. But did your software also need an upgrade? Ah, there’s the rub.
Perhaps this will someday become the platform from which we “might” finally see Web based apps outshine local applications. So long as your browser is supported, these apps don’t care what platform you’re using. Something to consider…