January 12, 2012

Solution Providers: Intel Smartphones, 'Wintel' Here To Stay

Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at Nor-Tech, a Burnsville, Minn.-based solution provider, believes Intel has been preparing for its entry into the smartphone and tablet space for a while now.  They simply had to make the move, Swank told CRN, in order to stay relevant. 

 "Intel didn’t have much of an option," he said. "[Mobility] is a threat to their core business, and they have to be a player there. So this was a great step in the right direction." 

Solution providers, however, aren’t convinced that Intel’s new alliances pose a threat to the Wintel empire. Swank, for instance, views Intel’s new partnerships as part of a broader strategy to extend its reach in the mobile market. The chip maker isn’t turning its back on Microsoft, he said. It’s simply exploring new opportunities. 

With Windows 8, Swank continued, Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) has opened its doors to new partnerships, too. The software giant designed Windows 8 to run not only on Intel’s x86 chips, but ARM archictures as well. This move, Swank said, perhaps nudged Intel to initiate a new alliance of its own.

Swank pointed out that the traditional PC form factor is being revived through Intel’s introduction of the Ultrabook. This, he said, is sure to solidify the Wintel relationship. "I think we will continue to see them work together," Swank told CRN. "Ultrabooks will have a huge play for both companies, and I think Windows 8 will work really well there." 

At the end of the day, he continued, more form factors and more mobile architectures mean more choices for the market –and that’s always a good thing. 

"Ultimately, the people who win will be the consumers because more choices and more competition means better pricing and better products," Swank said. "We are all probably a winner. But it’s just really fun to watch." 

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