Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Microsoft abandons PC-centric view but what about Intel?

Posted by Tom Foremski - November 9, 2005

By Tom Foremski, Silicon Valley Watcher.com

Today's "leaked" Gates and Ozzie memos show that Microsoft finally "gets it" that the world has shifted towards the Big Computer in the Cloud.

Gates' Copernicus-like revelation that we no longer live in a PC-centric world is late but significant for Microsoft. But has MSFT's PC partner Intel realized the world has changed?

The last time I looked, Intel was quite happily promoting its latest and greatest PC microprocessors, vowing to make them ever more powerful and complex.

But with the Big Computer approach, for most tasks, you don't need super-smart PC clients, because the Big Computer can do the processing far faster than the client.

You just need a client that can render video/graphic/audio bits really fast and needs only a little bit of local smarts. And there are plenty of chips out there than can do this, and that don't cost several hundred dollars, as Intel's top of the line PC chips and chipsets.

Yes, there are many professional tasks that require a powerful PC client system, but for most of us, the Big Computer in the Cloud will do just fine once we get ubiquitous broadband--which isn't far away.

Take a look at my recent post-The Coming PC Crunch:

Like a universe that finally feels the pull of its dark matter gravity and starts to pull back towards its singular moment of creation, the massive PC market could be facing the same pull on its further expansion.

The onward rise of the PC microprocessor, more powerful and complex than ever, won't be stopped by Moore's Law. It will much more likely be stopped by the fact that it becomes cheaper, and better to do the processing on a large computer system, rather than on a PC, no matter how fast the PC microprocessor.

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