Intel Hitting Its Stride Again

Arthur Cole

Intel seems to have gotten its groove back following that brief two-year adjustment period needed to confront the idea of real-life competition in the x86 business. But some folks are wondering if maybe the company hasn't gone a bit too far at the expense of its social conscience.


First off, we have to hand it to a company that can dominate news at the Consumer Electronics Show with the introduction of a new line of enterprise-class products, even if much of it will likely turn up in high-end consumer gear before long. No less than 16 new 45nm devices had their coming-out party on Monday, including new Xeons and a set of Core 2-based Penryns for the Santa Rosa platform.


And it won't be long before these new devices turn up in the office, with both Toshiba and Sony on hand showing the newest laptops loaded with all of the power management tools and advanced graphics instruction sets that the Penryn has to offer.


This is exactly where Intel should be in the eyes of analysts like In-Stat. Its low-power initiatives will play well both with enterprises looking to cut costs and mobile enthusiasts who want longer-living batteries and fancier graphical experiences.


With all this good news, then, why pick now for a dust-up with the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) organization. Judging by these comments from OLPC Chairman Nicholas Negroponte, it doesn't appear that Intel's departure from the group is just a minor misunderstanding likely to be patched up soon. It's hard to tell, of course, if Intel really is the soulless corporation sacrificing third-world child development for profits or if Negroponte is just the type who has to have his own way. But even if the OLPC business model is flawed, it's the kind of socially responsible effort that gives customers, both consumer and enterprise, a warm feeling about using Intel technology.


All in all, though, it's clear that Intel is back on top of things again. Now it's up to competitors like AMD to upset the market.

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