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

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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    Top Comments
  • magnetite
    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.
    27
  • Gundam288
    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.
    26
  • DEVILVSANGEL00
    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,
    20
  • Other Comments
  • magnetite
    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.
    27
  • teh_chem
    "The PC is not going to go away anytime soon, if ever. It’s going to continue to evolve."

    When I hear the term "PC," I think of a home desktop machine, or a non-netbook laptop. As soon as the definition of a PC deviates from that because of its evolution, I could no longer consider it a PC (as a PC enthusiast).

    State it however you want, it semantics. The PC is not here to stay.
    -32
  • bystander
    Very level headed thoughts. I'll be interested to see how Intel evolves in the table/smartphone sector. Those Medfield benchmarks look pretty good.
    18