All Eyes on Microsoft and Intel This Week

Ben Bajarin / September 12th, 2011

This week two industry heavyweights will be holding conferences around their companies greatest assets. Microsoft will be holding its Build Conference where they will highlight and showcase Windows 8 their next major OS release. Intel will be holding its annual Developer Forum which is designed to promote and encourage new innovation in hardware and software for Intel’s X86 CPU architecture.

Myself and many in the industry will be closely tuned to these events this week as we look for Microsoft and Intel to show us their vision of the future of the PC and post PC landscape.

Both Microsoft and Intel are key players and heavy influencers in the technology industry. These events are important for them to demonstrate to the world, and more importantly to the key players in their ecosystem, their value.

With Microsoft I anticipate much of build to be about Windows 8 on other platforms than PC’s. I expect, and hope, they show how Windows 8 will add value to the hardware manufacturers who have set their eyes on smart phones and tablets. We already know that Windows 8 will inevitably be shipped on new PC’s going forward. If you make PC’s for a living, and are not Apple, you have no choice but to use whatever Microsoft builds for you. I am more interested in what Microsoft has to offer in the areas where they are not the only OS in town.

I also expect their Windows on ARM initiative to be highlighted and emphasized. I believe the Windows on ARM campaign from Microsoft is one of the more important if they want to see their Windows OS get to more devices like tablets and smart phones. Those devices do not run Intel’s X86 architecture, but rather run an ARM based architecture. If Microsoft can gain momentum getting software developers to use their tools to develop software for Windows on ARM then they have a clear path to bring Windows software to new devices running the ARM architecture.

Intel on the other hand sees the trend of Post PC devices and has to be worried because that future right now does not include them. Intel is aggressively working on bringing their ATOM processors to smaller devices to compete with ARM, the only problem is right now there is no competition. Manufactures looking to bring tablets and smart phones to the mass market are not even considering Intel at this point in time.

Intel at IDF this week, I am betting, will focus heavily on mobility and Smart TV. Within mobility I expect them to push heavily their UltraBook initiative showing off a range of new devices and PC prototypes to showcase the kind of devices they want to see hit the market.

(Related: WIll UlraBooks Make PCs Interesting Again)

I would not be surprised if Intel also shows off a tablet or two and perhaps even some early smart phone hardware running Intel silicon.

The bottom line is both Microsoft and Intel making big showing at Build and IDF are key. They are both key players in helping drive innovation in the technology industry.

We will see what kind of vision both of them provide of the future.

Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio
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