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.