IDF: Intel execs talk tablets, smartphones and MeeGo

In a question-and-answer session with reporters after this morning's keynote speech, Intel execs talked about a number of topics ranging from tablets to smartphones and the future of MeeGo.

In a question-and-answer session with reporters after this morning's keynote speech, Intel execs talked about a number of topics ranging from tablets to smartphones and the future of MeeGo.

Tablet PCs were the big topic. During the morning presentation, company CEO Paul Otellini talked about a growing number of devices that go beyond the PCs and servers. But what about tablets?

Otellini called tablets an "additive" category - basically, one of many new product categories that are hitting the market today. But he also said it's principally a product that's focused on content consumption - at least for now. Tablets have some input-output limitations and lack some of the greater processing power, a trade-off for computing power.

But he certainly wasn't dismissing tablets, noting that he sees them heading into corporate environments but acknowledged that there is still work to do on interoperability with Windows for that seamless connectivity that he spoke of during the keynote. At the same time, the devices still have some overlapping with smartphones in the consumer space.

Speaking of smartphones, Otellini was asked about Intel's commitment to smartphones. The company has talked up smartphones in at past IDF conference but there was very little mention of them today. Otelini said the commitment remains in place and that the partners involved are going through interoperability testing and that, at this point, there really wasn't much news to share. But, it will be coming.

Previous coverage: Intel makes its smartphone move with latest Atom, but faces crowded field.

The company was also asked about MeeGo, its own open source operating system. The question, given that there are now a number of operating systems out there - from Windows to Chrome, from Linux to Apple and so on - is there really a need for MeeGo?

Otellini says there is - largely because Intel's OEM and service provider customers want the flexibility to add their own look and feel, create their own value add and, of course, "extract more revenue out of those streams." Sure, there seems to be some repetition there but, Otellini said, "as long as those customers are asking for it," Intel is going to do it.