Intel chief not worried by Microsoft's ARM decision

Will help us in tablets, not harm us in business

Intel CEP Paul Otellini has insisted that he is not worried about Microsoft's announcement that the next version of Windows will run on ARM chips.

Currently Windows runs on x86 chipsets – based on an early Intel CPU – but new designs are beginning to proliferate on other devices, and UK company ARM in particular is having an impact.

Microsoft's announcement at CES 2011 that it would not be limiting its next Windows release to x86 systems, but that it would also run on ARM chips is set to shake up the world of chips.

And clearly that is not something that Intel can ignore as it looks to the future.

Speaking at the company's financial results, Otellini insisted that Microsoft's forthcoming changes to Windows will actually help the company in the touch-enabled (tablet, PC and mobile phone) arena.

And he expressed his doubt that ARM can make an impact on the business PC area that makes the money for Intel.

"The plus for Intel is that as they unify their operating systems we now have the ability for the first time, one, to have a designed-from-scratch, touch-enabled operating system for tablets that runs on Intel that we don't have today; and, secondly, we have the ability to put our lowest-power Intel processors, running Windows 8 or the next generation of Windows, into phones, because it's the same OS stack. And I look at that as an upside opportunity for us," said Otellini.

"On the downside, there's the potential, given that Office runs on these products, for some creep-up coming into the PC space.

"I am skeptical of that for two reasons: one, that space has a different set of power and performance requirements where Intel is exceptionally good; and secondly, users of those machines expect legacy support for software and peripherals that has to all be enabled from scratch for those devices."

Intel is certainly in rude health in the mean-time, with the company announcing record fourth quarter results (including a $3.39 billion profit – around £2.1 billion) and making confident prediction for the first quarter of 2011.

Via Engadget

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