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The PC is Here to Stay, Says Intel's Paul Otellini

By - Source: BusinessWeek | B 58 comments

The PC is not going to go away anytime soon, Intel's CEO states.

In a recent interview with BusinessWeek, Intel CEO Paul Otellini covered a number of topics ranging from the cost of building a chip-manufacturing plant, to producing SoCs for smartphones, to the competition between Microsoft, Apple, Google and Amazon. But there's a point where they start talking about a post-PC era, and Otellini clearly acknowledges that the industry has moved away from an era of personal computers, to an era of personal computing. Still, that doesn't mean the desktop is dead.

"That means that there are going to be computers all around us and in different form factors," he said. "The PC is not going to go away anytime soon, if ever. It’s going to continue to evolve. Right now, it’s the most powerful tool you can have, but it doesn’t mean that there won’t be tablets or phones or even connected cars. The beauty of all these things is, if you get it right, the sum total of them has more value than the individual devices. That’s the model that we’re working toward."

The interview then moves on to talk about the pace of technological change. Otellini calls it evolution, describing the move from mainframes to minicomputers to the desktop PC. Intel servers have taken on supercomputing characteristics while the PC form factor has shrunk from "brick" to "ultrathin." Our phones have even gotten "smart" -- all thanks to the evolution of the microprocessor.

"Had we not done the basic work in microprocessors, for example, none of this would be possible," he said. "While there are some really interesting moments where you see great leaps forward -- and I would put the iPhone in that category -- it’s not like it was the first thing. I mean, you see this being argued out in the IP courts today: of who had a phone that was similar to that. Who had swipe gesturing 10 years ago, those kinds of things."

BusinessWeek brought up the subject of Intel's late entry into the ARM-dominated smartphone sector with its own SoC. Otellini said that part of the "oh gosh Intel missed the boat" argument stems from the analyst community which, as he states, "has its own agenda." Critics are seemingly fixated on ARM's dominance rather than focusing on Intel's success with high-end chips in data centers.

"They may be long on something and short on something else," he mused. "We tend not to worry about that. We just tell our story to them. There have been believers all along. They have made a lot of money, and the people that invested in us at the trough at whatever it was, $12, a few years ago have more than doubled their money, and they’re happy campers."

He goes on to describe Intel's entry into the smartphone sector is a marathon, not a sprint. "The most important thing for us is to continue to grow our presence in computing, in personal computing, and in the data center, and then over time get stronger and stronger in devices," he added.

To read the full interview, head here.

 

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  • 27 Hide
    magnetite , August 13, 2012 6:10 PM
    I use my computer for video encoding and other CPU intensive tasks. Can't see a smart phone replacing that. Not to mention it's kind of hard to store 10 TB of media on one.
  • 26 Hide
    Gundam288 , August 13, 2012 6:42 PM
    m22222222The PC has been dead ever since the iPad was released. You're living in a post-PC era just accept it.

    And you sir have had the iWool pulled over your eyes.

    Until something comes along that makes the PC underpowered, it's here to stay.
  • 20 Hide
    DEVILVSANGEL00 , August 13, 2012 6:17 PM
    pc will last at least another 10 years easily, u cant play 3 monitor setups with ultra settings on a laptop with a reasonable price tag plus the cloud gaming is in its earlie stages compared to what the people who say the pc is going to be extinct, truth is the pc will always be number 1 for a long time to come,
Other Comments
  • 27 Hide
    magnetite , August 13, 2012 6:10 PM
    I use my computer for video encoding and other CPU intensive tasks. Can't see a smart phone replacing that. Not to mention it's kind of hard to store 10 TB of media on one.
  • 18 Hide
    bystander , August 13, 2012 6:14 PM
    Very level headed thoughts. I'll be interested to see how Intel evolves in the table/smartphone sector. Those Medfield benchmarks look pretty good.
  • 20 Hide
    DEVILVSANGEL00 , August 13, 2012 6:17 PM
    pc will last at least another 10 years easily, u cant play 3 monitor setups with ultra settings on a laptop with a reasonable price tag plus the cloud gaming is in its earlie stages compared to what the people who say the pc is going to be extinct, truth is the pc will always be number 1 for a long time to come,
  • 12 Hide
    BigBodZod , August 13, 2012 6:17 PM
    My continuing hatred of mobile devices is really on predicated on the fact they are *always* tied to some god-aweful mobile service :( 

    Hence the reason I shun these devices and could care less.

    However I do see something good, where a smart wireless device could act as a remote control for said Media/Storage Center that is installed into every home.

    Could be there is an app for this already ?
  • 20 Hide
    vistaofdoom , August 13, 2012 6:36 PM
    good troll there... good troll.
  • 14 Hide
    furylicious , August 13, 2012 6:36 PM
    Someone give that man a Nobel Peace Prize.
  • 6 Hide
    matt_b , August 13, 2012 6:40 PM
    Couldn't agree more. I am not doing Excel spreadsheets on a tablet (not like it could handle over 200 rows of data), compiling/converting data or movies, editing photos or videos, and how big of a storage medium can I cram in one of those things? Don't get me wrong, the PC as we know it will slide further out of the way for replacement by tablets and smartphones, but only as usability and "horsepower" increase in these devices. I think there will always be a need for what we know today as the PC, there are some things that a mouse and keyboard will always be better at. The day I switch may be when a tablet has the power of a modern and average desktop (should be quite a while without forking over a fortune), but I can then dock it with a 27"+ monitor, and my mouse and keyboard.
  • 26 Hide
    Gundam288 , August 13, 2012 6:42 PM
    m22222222The PC has been dead ever since the iPad was released. You're living in a post-PC era just accept it.

    And you sir have had the iWool pulled over your eyes.

    Until something comes along that makes the PC underpowered, it's here to stay.
  • 20 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , August 13, 2012 6:45 PM
    Quote:
    The PC has been dead ever since the iPad was released. You're living in a post-PC era just accept it.

    Drink up the kool-aid
  • 6 Hide
    hatchna , August 13, 2012 6:49 PM
    I agree. The PC isn't going anywhere. The PC is hundreds if not thousands of times more powerful than a tablet as a content creation device. I can't imagine a tablet of any kind doing any kind of heavy video encoding, or software compilation. There are tons of things that desktop PC's are used for than a tablet is not practical for. It's not just about games, it's about almost everything else for me.
  • 17 Hide
    RipperjackAU , August 13, 2012 6:53 PM
    m22222222The PC has been dead ever since the iPad was released. You're living in a post-PC era just accept it.


    If you can write a fully fledged app for the iPad, ON your iPad, then I will accept your argument.
  • 5 Hide
    scannall , August 13, 2012 6:53 PM
    I think the form will continue to evolve. For regular users in particular. I can envision a time where a household will have a computer somewhere in the house, in a utility closet. Then the household members will use a wireless keyboard, mouse and monitor anywhere they want, and as many using it as there are people in the family.

    Perhaps even offload heavier computing loads from your tablet to the household computer, allowing you to do more intensive work on it, while keeping your battery life high.
  • 8 Hide
    twelch82 , August 13, 2012 6:55 PM
    m22222222The PC has been dead ever since the iPad was released. You're living in a post-PC era just accept it.


    If you mainly used your computer for YouTube, then I'd agree, in that case there is no need for a desktop computer. If you use it for pretty much anything else, then a real computer with a keyboard that you don't have to hold up in the air is better.

    If you want to predict trends in products, answer the question, "What's better?" Having a smartphone is better than not having a smartphone, because any access to a computer is better than no access when you're moving around. It hits the sweet spot for accessibility vs. ease of use.

    When you are about to sit down for a 1-8 hour computing session though, which is better, a smartphone/tablet or a PC? The mobility aspect is no longer a factor because you are not going anywhere, so the superior interface and capability of a desktop PC make it a clear winner in that scenario.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , August 13, 2012 6:57 PM
    Should moore's law continue to hold true for the next several years, I can't really see the need for a "personal computer" in the general market. I could see it slowly become a market for application-specific markets (engineers, gamers, art types, etc). But that would probably cause the lower and mid end to go extinct. PC's for your average home user that only use the web might slowly turn into "docks" for your mobile device.

    Just throwing out some thoughts. Personally, I use my PC everyday quite extensively for tasks big and small. Should my phone be able to play crysis @ 60 fps one day, I wouldn't mind getting a dock ;) 
  • 4 Hide
    freedom4556 , August 13, 2012 7:02 PM
    Did cellphones replace the PBX and the office phone? No. However, did smartphones basically wipe-out PDAs? Yes. It's all a matter of form-factor. The desktop PC will never go away simply because the desk will never go away. Sure it will change shape. Heck I'll bet all-in-one PCs with the computer built into the monitor will become the norm as a result of moore's law. But if the use scenario remains the devices will remain. Same reason touch will never replace keyboard for office use.
  • -1 Hide
    beardguy , August 13, 2012 7:14 PM
    I think most of us have been keen on this "post-PC era" bullshit all along. The PC isn't going anywhere, if you want to get technical, my smartphone is a "PC". It is a mini computer that is for personal use that I take everywhere I go.

    The only thing that is changing is the definition of what a PC is.
  • 4 Hide
    DRosencraft , August 13, 2012 7:17 PM
    I agree that the PC isn't going anywhere, but did we really expect a rep. from Intel to say anything different? With all the money they've invested in making better CPUs, their long-term plans post Ivy Bridge, did anyone really think someone from Intel would come out and say, "PC is dead"? That's like Exxon/Mobile saying that we should switch to solar, or GM telling everyone to go ride a bike... not going to happen.
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