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The signs are ominous that mobile computing will (eventually but maybe not entirely) take over the traditional box-with-a-brain, and thus the announcement that Intel, the world’s largest and highest valued semiconductor chip maker, will set its production of desktop motherboards into idle is an unpleasant and stomach churning proclamation for a vast industry.
What? Intel is changing its core reason for existence? It’s not an unusual move if the current market is anything to go by, and Intel will not be the first company to do so. Apple did it, Microsoft is doing it and Nokia wants to do it. The game has completely changed.
Intel has decided to focus almost all of its production on tablets, smartphones and ultrabooks, adding more weight to the changing scene, as reported by IT News Africa. In a statement released, the company said the following: “We disclosed internally today that Intel’s Desktop Motherboard Business will begin slowly ramping down over the course of the next three years. As Intel gradually ramps down its motherboard business we are ramping up critical areas of the desktop space including integration of innovative solutions for the PC ecosystem such as reference design development, NUC and other areas to be discussed later.”
What is however very admirable is that the current Intel workforce will be incorporated into new areas, as the company further said that “the internal talent and experience of twenty years in the boards business (which until recently has been largely focused on desktop tower type designs) is being redistributed to address emerging new form factors — desktop and mobile.” Apart from this being a reassuring statement for employees, one can also see this is an indication of Intel still being in a powerful position, and having planned this. The trend to scale down on workforce and expenditure has been seen too many times when a company makes a bold move like this.
It can also be seen as a sign that the traditional desktop PC is not entirely dead yet. This is the type of news that will have gamers and custom PC builders sitting up straight, but with Asus and Gigabyte having made large insteps into Intel’s world already, PC looks like it will survive.