No honor among thieves?

Summary:Only a qualified success? there's a phrase you'd expect from Barbara Boxer's therapist, not ajournalist talking about Microsoft's failure to take an Intel technology much beyond PowerPoint.

"It is to laugh" -that's the French idiom captured in English by the word "risible" and often the only response to the pearls of wisdom dropped on an unsuspecting public by people who should know better.

Unfortunately some of these have real consequences. Two weeks ago, for example, Apple's market capitalization rose almost a billion dollars on the rumor that Macs might get Intel chips.

If it's true, people should short Apple, the x86 is a security and performance disaster -but let's look at part of what Forbes Magazine, had to say:

 

This time, Apple is trailing in the notebook PC game. Competitors like Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Gateway, Toshiba and others are all offering notebook PCs using Intel chips with clock speeds of 2.8 gigahertz and in some cases faster than 3 GHz. Apple's flagship notebook, the PowerBook G4 is still running at 1.67 GHz with a version of the Power PC chip manufactured by Freescale Semiconductor.

You may not see this as important, but remember, your boss probably considers Forbes authoritative - so if what he reads is as flippant and uninformed as this, how can you expect to communicate with him the next time there's a choice between loading up Linux and buying another set of Windows licenses?

The bigger surprise, however, is that no one appears to have noticed that the supplicant in that deal would have been Intel, not Apple. Intel, in fact, has serious problems that are already leading to an outburst of creativity among its apologists. A personal favorite, for example, is this from a PC Pro analysis of Intel's dual core technology:

 

Despite Intel's enthusiasm, Hyper-Threading - where a single-core processor allows two threads to share execution resources simultaneously - has been only a qualified success.

Only a qualified success? There's a phrase you'd expect from Barbara Boxer's therapist, not a journalist talking about Microsoft's failure to take an Intel technology much beyond PowerPoint.

Intel is in deep trouble. Consider this visionary statement:

 

What we are talking about is things like the entertainment PC, and that's really the bedrock of the digital home. The entertainment PC is really the capability to do all sorts of things: store content, create content, distribute content. It's really the hub of the home network. And there's a whole new generation of consumer electronics devices that can speak to one another and are really related to the entertainment PC.

That's powerful stuff; but what's sad about it is that Intel's Craig Barrett said it -just before Microsoft demonstrated the technology to achieve it: based on an IBM made, three core, 3.2Ghz, PowerPC just like the one in the Mac.

Topics: Hardware

About

Originally a Math/Physics graduate who couldn't cut it in his own field, Paul Murphy (a pseudonym) became an IT consultant specializing in Unix and related technologies after a stint working for a DARPA contractor programming in Fortran and APL. Since then he's worked in both systems management and consulting for a range of employers inc... Full Bio

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