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Tablet Wars: Intel Joins Game

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For years, PCs were often referred to as Wintel machines. The "tel" coming from Intel's role as Windows's preferred chipmaker-in-chief. Now, here we are well on our way into what Steve Jobs calls the "post-PC era" and where's Intel? Well, better late than never.  Here's Intel jumping in (more like wading in) with the promise of a new chipset, code named Oak Trail, designed specifically to run a variety of operating systems on tablets and smartphones.

That's the good news.

Intel's CEO, Paul Otellini, promises that tablets with Intel inside will be here by year's end, while smartphones will take a bit longer; probably early next year sometime.

That's the bad news! Year's end? Early next year? Groan, it's only April!

In an interview with CNBC today, Otellini offered this spin to Intel's tangled up at the gate entrance into the mobile device race:

"Every tablet, every smartphone is very likely talking to an Intel-based server, an Intel-based storage system, an Intel-based networking system."

Every tablet, every smartphone likely came packaged in cardboard and a plastic baggy, too. Dare I say, so what?

I guess that was the "Intel Outside" strategy that we've seen, so far.

It remains to be seen whether the old Wintel monoliths, Microsoft and Intel, will be able to catch up and become relevant players in the mobile market. Sadly, both squandered their dominance in the traditional PC world. Both should be leading the way right now, instead of scrambling to catch up.

Last updated: Apr 20, 2011




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