Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Tuesday 25/4/2006 Can you guess what it is yet? Intel had been strangely circumspectabout today's big announcement: the business platform to match Centrinoin portables and Viiv in home systems.

Tuesday 25/4/2006

Can you guess what it is yet? Intel had been strangely circumspect about today's big announcement: the business platform to match Centrino in portables and Viiv in home systems. That's understandable; anyone who's been paying attention for the past year could probably give the PowerPoint presentation with their eyes shut. We didn't know the name — although the good old Inquirer managed to do a weekend ferret and found a site called www.vPro.com that linked to Intel's front page. So vPro it is.

That's a mildly odd name. As connoisseurs of wild media will know, vPro is the name of a Dutch public service broadcaster, Vrijzinnig Protestantse Radio Omroep or the Liberal Protestant Radio Broadcasting Company. It's a lot more liberal than Protestant these days, and specialises in top weirdness; it's a bit like Intel calling their new business platform Radio Odd Stuff.

We'll assume that this is pure coincidence.

But the strangest part of vPro is the specification. We don't know what it is. We know most of it — the VT virtualisation is thoroughly documented, the dual-coredness is as public as you like and the graphics, memory and other aspects are pretty much sorted. That's what you'd expect for a platform that's built on technologies that are all announced and out there already.

But the management aspects are less well understood. We've asked, but so far — nothing beyond marketing speil. That's a shame: unlike, say, Vista, vPro has a solid reason to exist and many of the claims Intel makes for it are liable to be both true and useful. You don't need to be told how unusual and important that is in this business.

With Intel preparing for another big internal shake-up, the worry is that it's about to change its ways about information and move to a "licence or stay ignorant" model in an attempt to keep their rivals in the dark.

Let's hope not. We're on the case.

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