In the wake of disappointing news regarding its Q4 profits, Intel CEO Paul Otellini remained surprisingly upbeat over its prospects for the future, insisting that the next generation of PC designs would soon subsume today’s tablet craze.
Otellini’s comments came as Intel announced disappointingly slow fourth quarter sales of $13.5bn that only just met the company’s forecasted targets. At the same time, the company admitted that its initial projections for 2013 weren’t much better – with sluggish growth forecasted for the year ahead.
Intel’s big problem is that it’s fighting what many consider to be a losing battle against the downward trend in PC sales, something that has forced it to branch out into mobile device markets that were previously uncharted territory for the company.
PC Market Isn’t Dying; BYOD Is
Even so, Otellini came out fighting earlier today, insisting that the new wave of Windows 8 ‘hybrid’ computers would soon come galloping in like the cavalry to rescue the flagging PC market.
“We are in the midst of a radical transformation of the computing experience with the blurring of form factors and adoption of new user interfaces,” claimed Intel CEO Paul Otellini
“It’s no longer necessary to choose between a PC and a tablet. Convertibles and detachables combined with Windows 8 and touch provide a 2-for-1, no-compromise computing experience.”
What Otellini is betting his house on is that the arrival of this new wave of hybrid devices and Microsoft’s own Surface tablet will soon herald the end of the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ phenomena that has become so commonplace in the workplace today.
We’ve covered the ‘Death of BYOD’ here on SiliconANGLE quite extensively in recent weeks, and as our contributing editor John Cassaretto explains in his own extensive article on the subject, the emergence of Windows 8 – despite reports to the contrary – will likely be seen as a god-send by businesses growing frustrated with the challenges of BYOD.
Intel’s New Gameplan
The danger for Intel is that the Death of BYOD may well be a slow and lingering one, as many companies IT departments will likely take time to be won over by Windows 8. But even if it does take many more months for newer Windows 8 devices to emerge as a serious alternative to BYOD – something that we feel is almost certain to happen eventually – Intel is hedging its bets accordingly.
As we learned during Dell World and HP Discover at the end of last year, what Intel is now attempting to do is to diversify its businesses to offset the current negative trends in PC sales, with forays into software-defined networking and software services both being identified as key areas of focus in 2013.
Intel CIO Kim Stevenson elaborated on these plans during Dell World 2012, in a conversation with SiliconAngle founder John Furrier and Wikibon founder Dave Vallente on theCube (see video below). In the interview, Stevenson points to the fact that Intel’s data structure is growing at 30% year over year. This growth isn’t about to stop any time soon – indeed, with Intel looking into developing a flash based storage model to allow it to store even more data, this could well be a key area of expansion, something that will help to offset any near time losses in its PC division.
Intel’s drive towards diversification has also seen it make big strides into Big Data, while recent months have seen it come out with a new wave of smaller processors providing the brainpower for dozens of new ultrabooks, smartphones and tablets in the mobile sector.
In particular, Intel has high hopes for the success of its up-and-coming Haswell chip for mobile devices, which it bills as “the largest generation to generation improvement in battery life in Intel history.” The Haswell chips incorporate Intel’s new 22-nanometer manufacturing and Tri-Gate 3D transistors, but by the end of the year the company is hoping to launch its newer 14-nanometer chips, which it claims are faster, smaller and cheaper than anything seen before.