Intel has always been very supportive of Microsoft and Windows, but now it seems that they are a bit more than supportive. They actually seem excited. Thrilled even. At a Credit Suisse technology conference, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said that Windows 8 was “one of the best things that’s ever happened to our company.”
At the conference, Otellini denied that ARM was going to hurt Intel in any way and said that Intel can still do well in the mobile market. He elaborated on how good Windows 8 will be:
“…it’s a very good operating system, not just for PCs, but we think also will allow tablets to really get a legitimacy into mainstream computing, particularly in enterprises that they don’t have today.
A lot of the enterprise managers are worried about security, they’re worried about the difficulty affording their legacy applications over to an Android tablet or to an iPad.
What Microsoft is doing is making that seamless for them. And they have a new experience, which they call Metro, that’s the interface up there.
But for Intel-based machines, there is also one button that basically takes you back to your classic Windows experience and that’s a software button essentially.
So you’re just running one manifestation of the operating system with two different GUIs, if you will, it’s not running on virtual machines, it’s one manifestation.
So this gives us, x86, in particular, I think a unique advantage as Windows 8 comes to market, because we can take advantage of all the legacy that was ever written, and all of the fact that all the drivers for the mice and for printers and every other USB device in the world.
For example, getting photos off your camera and onto a tablet.
Try that if you don’t have a driver, doesn’t work. On the other hand, if that tablet is running [an extension] of Windows, it’s going to work just like it works with the PC today. So there is a huge advantage built in that we think we have as the Windows 8 products start launching.”
On the ARM issue, Otellini said that ARM based Windows 8 tablets were inferior and hadone major disadvantage, they couldn’t run x86 applications, which is basically every legacy program written for Windows.
When talking about how Intel was doing in the mobile market, they said that they ran tests using Intel powered phones and other top-selling phones. He said that Intel wasn’t the best, but they are “pretty darn close.”
This are his full thoughts on the matter:
“All the major vendors are now, silicon vendors are moving to a model where you develop these Form Factor Reference Designs, where you basically lock down the components and validate them on networks, on the 3G, 4G networks that are out there such that they can go — our customers can go through IOT testing very quickly to get on — into the market.
And you’ll see a number of Intel customers using the guts of this phone to go into the market in the first half of next year, and we’ll have more announcements on that at CES. But what I’ve done here is, we’ve measured this phone against the other top-five-selling — high-selling smartphones that are out there today.
And on the top chart, this is power, lower is better, right, and so standby 3G, we’re not the best, but we’re pretty darn close. For audio playback, we are the second best and well ahead of the pack. And on 720p video playback, again better than most and almost the best-in-class.”
I think Intel has a lot of work to do in the mobile market, but if they have already been working on it and these tests results are exactly what Otellini describes them as then I think that Intel can have a decent phone out come CES. It probably won’t be the top selling phone, and it definitely won’t be the best made, but it will probably be cheap and it will be decent.