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Intel Vpro is everything we said it would be

Good for users, bad for partners
Mon Apr 24 2006, 18:51
INTEL STARTED OUT the vPro presentation with a whimper, not a bang. As I am writing this, Paul Otellini is ranting about technologies and presentations using graphs and figures I can't see. It seems that Intel security won't let the presentation out on the web until 30 minutes after the CC starts. Yay.

Now, the airtight security was faultless, and it did indeed kill any buzz and momentum they could have built up for the launch. Brilliant planning, two thumbs up, own goal territory no doubt.

So what is vPro? Viiv that doesn't suck? It is far less ambitious, we told you about the high points earlier, the official word is manageability (iAMT2), proactive security (ie push patches, and somehow VT is being spun as security), and energy efficiency (Not P4). Be still my beating heart. The good thing is that I think vPro is a necessary step in the evolution of PC management, and the modest goals mean that it won't suffer VIIV-itis. Modest goals, potentially large cost savings and things users want all point to a success. They also didn't mention Skypelike we did, but trust us, it is there.

Now for the down side, everything in here is available elsewhere. iAMT, and soon iAMT2, VT and the Conroe cores are coming regardless of the logo. The hardware requirements, dual cores, iAMT aware chipsets, and the software is coming down the pike. The spiffy logo with an unwritten cost adder that is kicked back to vendors are no help to buyers. In all, no big deal, and you would get it anyway.

This is a blatant Intel power grab, they are shutting out companies that used to be partners, and trying to gain more walletshare. This in and of itself is not a bad thing, the best solution should win in the market. The problem is, the last few times Intel did this and crushed partners, they got bitten in the ass by it. The current mobile chipset drought is a direct result of the Centrino program, and what is the dollar tally there up to? Intel could have done things fairly by certifying and taxing third party chipsets, but no, they got greedy. Then they 'dun got bit'.

I see the same thing happening with vPro. Smiling faces on stage aside, you can bet that Symantec, Landesk and other management solution providers have got to be very nervous right now. If history is any guide, they will play along on the surface, but as soon as the eyes are off, they will try very hard to slip the knife in. Wagons are circled, but they are making the cowboys flee to AMD.

Overall, the whole thing is a mix of good technologies that did not need a banner to be a positive. Intel is great at enterprise tech, but lousy at marketing. Combining the two is not a 'chocolate and peanut butter' thing, more of a 'mint and avacado with lime swirls' flavoring. The lack of partners will hurt Intel in the end, and the branding will bring little if anything to the table.

One last thing, the logo is below. µ

See Also
Intel Pro range fundamentally aims at AMD



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