Intel highlights everything that's wrong with the PC industry

Sometimes companies are so desperate to get a word or bullet point phrase into marketing or press materials that they don't realize what a mistake it is.

Sometimes companies are so desperate to get a word or bullet point phrase into marketing or press materials that they don't realize what a mistake it is. This is exactly what Intel has done in a slide related to its new line of Broadwell processors.

Increased productivity is a good thing, right? And what better way to push newer hardware than to highlight how more efficient the workforce will be. But is that a good idea when those productivity gains are trifling?

Here's the slide in question.

broadwell-intel.png
Intel

Here Intel got to choose the battlefield, and while the tech specs sound impressive enough - 35 percent more transistors, 37 percent smaller die, up to 50 percent faster video conversion - someone also chose to pop productivity into that list.

But is 4 percent better productivity anything to get excited about, especially when it has that "up to" prefix?

Now, you might argue that "productivity" is rather a bogus metric in the first place, and I would be tempted to agree with you. But Intel still chose to go with this metric, because the company apparently believes that it is a key factor for people. But despite choosing to include it, and being able to cherry-pick the parameters by which said productivity is defined, the best it could come up with is a measly "up to 4 percent better."

This perfectly sums up the problem with the PC industry as it currently stands. While Intel is still keen to be seen as an influential player in the PC industry, the PC - as defined by the desktop and notebook - are yesterday's devices that have pretty much run their course. New and better hardware isn't translating into any weighty productivity gains, and why should companies and consumers spend good money on new hardware if that new hardware doesn't bring much in the way of a productivity boost?

New devices such as tablets, smartphones, and other smart devices are having a far bigger effect on productivity than increases in transistor numbers and die shrinks.

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