However, times have changed and suddenly, according to inside reports Intel has
snubbed Microsoft's flagship product, Windows Vista. Intel, which has
over 80,000 employees with workstations, will not change its computers over to
Vista. This marks the first time that Intel would have bypassed a major
Windows generation, if the reports from the key inside source hold true.
While Intel's acceptance or rejection may be a largely symbolic blow, it is
part of a far broader
trend of companies refusing to adopt Windows Vista, discussed previously
here at DailyTech. While consumer adoption has languished slightly
due to some complaints
about compatibility, features, and resource consumption, these problems are
exponentially greater in the business world, which operates largely on somewhat
A lengthy analysis by Intel's internal technology of the costs versus benefits
of Vista adoption led to the decision. According to the insider, who
request anonymity due to possible damage to Microsoft and Intel's relationship,
the conclusion drawn was that the cost of expensive hardware upgrades to cope
with what some call Vista's "bloat" or high memory, CPU, and graphics
demands would simply be too costly for the small benefits provided.
Said the insider, "This isn’t a matter of dissing Microsoft, but Intel
information technology staff just found no compelling case for adopting Vista."
An Intel spokesman did not acknowledge the reports, but refused to directly
deny them either. He said Vista was seeing very limited deployment within
certain company groups, but as a whole was not currently being adopted.
So much for "Wintel" said some. The term was coined in the
early days of the PC industry, and since both Windows and Intel have been
nearly synonymous with the personal computer.
Word of the rift first broke on the sardonic British tech news site The
Inquirer and has since been covered by major news outlets, including the New
The Times points out aptly that Intel may change its mind at some
Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, regularly meets with Paul Otellini, Intel’s chief
executive, and Ballmer is known both for being a good salesman and for his
penchant for forceful aggression.
David Smith, a Gartner analyst, says Intel and other company's rejection of
Vista is not wholly abnormal -- there is a typical waiting period before
next-gen OS adoption. However, Vista, he says has almost passed that period
and is troublingly receiving little support. He states, "But by 18
months, you’d expect to see a significant uptake, and we haven’t seen
that. There’s not much excitement."
In an average generation, according to Gartner, 30 percent of customers skip
the OS. That number will be much higher for Vista, according to
Gartner. Gartner is also advising its only clients against Vista
With 140 million Vista copies worldwide, the OS is by no means a failure.
However it’s failed to renew the enthusiasm engendered by Windows XP.
Windows XP will be discontinued at the end of the month, though its popularity
remains. PC makers are capitalizing on strong sales through loopholes
and will continue
to sell XP systems after, but likely at a markup.
Microsoft has responded
to the strong demand by extending the XP Home and Media Center support
lifespan by 5 years. Until now the scheduled cutoff date was January 2009. The extension will last till May 2014.
The extension means that Microsoft will continue to deliver non-security
upgrades for 5 more years. XP Pro had already received a similar extension.
Some see the move as an acknowledgement of Vista’s struggles. Microsoft
gave no official explanation for its decision to extend support.
Microsoft hopes to regain is vigor with the release
of Windows 7, which is slated to go on sale around holiday season
2009. In the meantime it is left to lick its wounds, particularly the
most recent painful one in the form of a snub from a trusted friend.