Intel’s Survey – Not Surprisingly They See No Decline On the Horizon For Notebooks

Intel is in the business of selling CPUs, powerful CPUs. They can charge more money for more powerful CPUs. What is surprising that a recent survey of business usage of mobile computing devices finds that notebooks are hot and
“Full function PCs are the most important client device for business computing today and the view is that this importance will actually increase, not decrease, in the context of mobile working over the coming three years.”.

That could be true in places where I have worked that have hardly entered the mobile age of computing but the rest of the world has moved on and people use IT in new ways.

  • People use smart phones to do many tasks formerly done on a desktop PC,
  • people can hook monitor, keyboard and mouse to smart phones or tablets for productivity,
  • notebooks have taken a hit in shipments at the same time that smart phones and tablets are exploding, and
  • more computing is done on the server in web applications and whole environments for work.

The timing of the survey is interesting as well. Why did the question even arise? Of course Intel knows what’s really happening but wanted something to publish to deny reality. Intel can make a lot more money selling a hundred powerful chips for clients than a few powerful chips for servers.

The survey, while touted to be inclusive of end-users has very few. Almost all respondents are “IT professionals” and the like, folks who have a stake in preserving the Wintel cash cow a bit longer…

category %
business manager 16
business professional 9
IT manager 24
IT professional 41
other 10

The term “virtual” only appears three times in the report. It was as if thin-client and cloud computing was not even on the radar which is clearly false. Both technologies are growing at huge rates and in three years will be quite normal everywhere including mobile computing. 31% of Intel’s customers use thin clients and 47% plan to increase use of thin clients. Even mobile computing devices will be connected more often than not while computing. People may use mobile phones while moving but notebooks? Not so much. In business the only ones likely to be in that position are salesmen and they can drag content around on some storage device so eventually being synced or whatever is hardly relevant. A lot of mobile thin clients are sold these days. More people than every are working from home using IT and connecting to corporate servers where all the data stays for security and connectivity.

Nope. Intel’s survey is a lot of wishful thinking. ARM is already invading the notebook space and so far Intel does not produce chips for those devices. Atom comes close enough for some purposes but for mobile, nothing beats ARM and that is also true for notebooks and desktops connected to servers which most are these days.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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