x86 survived because of price/performance caused by fierce competition (Intel, AMD, Cyrix, Rise, Centaur, etc.), and popularity of Windows/DOS. It was fun experiencing how x86 beat faster RISC CPUs (Alpha, PowerPC, Itanium) when there were builds of Windows NT.
Now, people are downgrading to ARM to use their low-power, low-performance portable toys (tablets, smartphones) running inferior operating systems. Sadly, Intel did an horrendous job with the Atom until 2-3 years ago, and Microsoft did even worse releasing the bloated Vista, which was awful for the now-dead netbook market.
Atoms are finally good enough, but still, the absurd 2GB RAM limit, and high power consumption (most Windows tablets can't charge from USB hub or PC) is still not good enough for Windows 8 (the real one, not RT).
And, please don't teach your kids x86 ASM. Modern C++ compilers generate good optimized code, runtime libraries are optimized. Besides, x86 code looks backwards, instruction set origins are from a 1970 terminal! (datapoint 2200), has endianness from hell, few registers, etc.