Time for a Plan B at Intel?

2020-02-08T17:44:00-07:00July 28th, 2013|

It is time for Intel to begin placing bigger bets on Windows alternatives.

Let me assure you that I’m not schizophrenic, although I do understand why you might be wondering about that right now. Yes, I do remember the advice I gave to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in my last column, Don’t Give Up on the PC. And now I’m suggesting he invest more heavily in Windows competitors. I know it sounds contradictory. But it’s not.

As Intel’s new top executive continues to evaluate the company’s strategic priorities, he’d be foolhardy not to give Windows every shot at success. The company’s PC Client Group, or PCG, generates far more sales and profit than any other business unit – and the lion’s share of those spoils comes from Intel chips inside Windows machines. Hence the don’t-give-up message.

The flipside is that, on an annual basis, PCG’s revenue and operating income have been declining every quarter since Microsoft released Windows 8 to manufacturing. Coincidence? Unless you’re the kind of person who needs those pre-flight seat-belt fastening instructions, you don’t need me to answer that.

OK, so don’t put all your eggs in the Windows basket. Check. Now for the tough part: where to incubate the rest of those eggs?

Read the entire column HERE.

Don’t Give Up On The PC Just Yet

2020-02-08T17:45:49-07:00July 23rd, 2013|

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich kicked off the first tech earnings call of the quarter by emphasizing that he’s putting a “much, much stronger effort on Atom,” the family of processors designed to power smartphones and tablets.

That’s a sensible direction to take things, in light of the PC market’s malaise. But how to re-distribute priorities? We don’t really have a basis for an answer yet because we haven’t yet gotten to see how compelling the PC can be amidst the tablet invasion because the ecosystem has yet to put its best foot forward.

To be sure, today’s PCs are far better than the state of the art three years ago, when Apple launched the original iPad. Due in large part to Intel’s Ultrabook initiative, today’s systems are far more responsive. They’re also far more attractive. And they last far longer on a charge. These are all things that make today’s PCs far more attractive than circa 2010 models.

Compelling as they are, though, these new PCs are still hobbling up to the starting gate  – just as they did last season. I’ve covered the Windows handicap in previous columns, so I won’t re-launch that rant (even though I REALLY WANT TO). If I were Krzanich, I’d tackle a few more industry-wide shortcomings as quickly as possible. Because until they’re resolved, we really won’t have any indication of how the PC will fare in the tablet era – which means Krzanich can’t know how much investment the traditional PC market deserves going forward.

Here’s what I’d tackle first: