For ages, every chip from Intel has worked pretty well with GNU/Linux thanks to Intel’s contribution of FLOSS drivers. Dredged up from the dungeons of Wintel is a plan to release a new Atom SoC (System on a Chip) with integrated graphics which will be “8”-only. This means millions of products will be shipped from mainstream OEMs which for the first time since the early days of Linux will not work with GNU/Linux. These Clover Trail Atoms are aimed at tablets but Intel will likely sell to any OEM who wants the latest advantages of Intel’s technology. A lot of thin clients run GNU/Linux and OEMs are making a lot more these days. Whether this is really a scheme of M$ to lock out GNU/Linux or a by-product of rapid technological change, Intel says it’s a “8”-only chip.
“Intel is avoiding Linux support at the behest of Microsoft”
“Intel said Clover Trail "is a Windows 8 chip" and that "the chip cannot run Linux"”.
I think this is a stupid move by Intel. Unless M$ is paying them a huge bundle for this move it does not make sense as a business. If M$ is paying them a huge bundle for this move it could be Intel is becoming involved in the biggest anti-competitive scheme of M$ since Netscape. What they could not do by FUD, arm-twisting, exclusive dealing etc. they now intend to do by having hardware that won’t run GNU/Linux.
I expect small expensive computers will fail and Intel will lose a bundle on this line of chips. At worst, if there is no legal intervention to prevent this, Wintel will have a little more business for the next few months until the next chip comes down the pipe with full GNU/Linux support.