David Perlmutter, Executive Vice President of Intel Architecture Group, said in his keynote that the Clover Trial SOC was designed for Windows 8 and “convertibles” and the processor meant for low cost mobile devices like tablets, netbooks “cannot run Linux”. This member of the Intel Atom range of processors has been designed to provide users with a full Windows 8 experience as compared to what Windows RT would provide.
To give exclusivity to Windows 8, Intel has been working closely with Microsoft to allow the yet to be released operating system have access to power management features of the processor. Dubbed as ‘always-on’ functionality by Perlmutter, Linux wouldn’t have this capability and hence no official support.
There is no reason as to why the Clover Trail can’t run Linux as it has an x86 based instruction set and there is nothing that might stop vendors from building their Clover powered Linux devices but, the lack of official support would act as a deterrent.
IDF also saw announcing the x86 port of Android Jelly Bean to the Atom Medfield processor.