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This article was published on November 30, 2011

Intel is high on the Windows 8 Kool-Aid

Intel is high on the Windows 8 Kool-Aid
Alex Wilhelm
Story by

Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

Windows 8 cometh, and the world’s PC OEMs are preparing for the sea change that it represents. But between ridiculous stories and the usual intrigue that we ever enjoy with a new version of Windows, a new, and very important narrative has come to the fore: Intel, as it turns out, is happy.

Given the newly included processor options that Windows 8 supports, one might think that Intel would not be too enthused with Microsoft’s choices. After all, Windows running on Qualcomm silicon is hardly beneficial to Intel’s bottom line. However, read the following, from Intel:

We are very excited about Windows 8. I think it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to our Company. And it’s a very good operating system, not just for PCs, but we think also will allow tablets to really get a legitimacy into mainstream computing, particularly in enterprises that they don’t have today. A lot of the enterprise managers are worried about security, they’re worried about the difficulty affording their legacy applications over to an Android tablet or to an iPad.

What Microsoft is doing is making that seamless for them. And they have a new experience, which they call Metro, that’s the interface up there. But for Intel-based machines, there is also one button that basically takes you back to your classic Windows experience and that’s a software button essentially.

So you’re just running one manifestation of the operating system with two different GUIs, if you will, it’s not running on virtual machines, it’s one manifestation. So this gives us, x86, in particular, I think a unique advantage as Windows 8 comes to market, because we can take advantage of all the legacy that was ever written, and all of the fact that all the drivers for the mice and for printers and every other USB device in the world. For example, getting photos off your camera and onto a tablet.

Try that if you don’t have a driver, doesn’t work. On the other hand, if that tablet is running [an extension] of Windows, it’s going to work just like it works with the PC today. So there is a huge advantage built-in that we think we have as the Windows 8 products start launching.

The critical portion of that is the note about how Intel has a “unique advantage” going forward, given its legacy support (when compared to ARM) and potential management of form factor diversity. Intel, despite new competition, sees Windows 8 as a win for its product line.

This is important, as it implies that Intel will have no problem putting millions into supporting, and promoting Windows 8, something that the operating system will need, given how radical a departure it is from the ‘classic’ Windows theme. If Windows 8 is the future, it has good allies to help it get there.

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