Ed Bott covered this weeks ago when the news was made public that Intel was planning on skipping Vista and he provides good insight into the history around that and why it isn’t super significant. Being a former Intel employee the move doesn’t surprise me. It has been a little under a year since I left the company and they were already setting up that decision already. A lot of the engineering effort to roll it out was slowed way down if not iced completely. There is a lot of things I loved about Intel, but this Vista decision highlights one that always frustrated me.
Intel seems to promote a "Do as I say not as I do" policy. They tried mightily to get Microsoft to certify certain platforms as Vista Capable to promote hardware sales even when the hardware specs made the Vista experience sub-optimal (plethora of articles). They also obviously promote people buying newer computers to get the latest processing power at a time when the average email reading, Internet surfing consumer has an average CPU usage of below 10% (a personal guess that I believe to be in the ballpark – if anyone knows a source for data like this I would be interested in it). They want Vista in the consumer market because of the extra CPU requirements that features like the Aero interface bring yet internally they don’t drink their own koolaid.
Intel is a company and it is about making money fundamentally and I am sure they looked at the business bottom line and made this decision. But it is nice to see companies that align their public message with their internal image. In this case I think there is an mismatch between the message that Intel sells and the one they practice. There is basically one option for a laptop through Intel’s IT department (I don’t count the ultra-thin as an option for most but technically there was the ultra-thin and then the laptop for everyone else) . No Core 2 Duo options, 2 GB of RAM, slow HDD, small screen. You can read in many places on the web what an appropriate developer machine is (like on Coding Horror), but those specs don’t come close. In my new job I was immediately handed a Core 2 Duo machine with 3.5 GB of RAM, good sized laptop screen, plus a large LCD.
I always got the feeling that even though Intel sells IT as an investment to your company that will bring good ROI internally they see it simply as a cost center. My manager at Intel realized the insufficiency of the machines we were given and allowed budget for us to go out and buy machines that we could really use. So for all of Intel’s attempt to be cost conscious by providing a very limited set of IT supported hardware all they really did is promote more expense by forcing people to pay for an IT machine plus another machine that would really do what they needed.
Note: I use this blog to post both Personal and Technical articles. For a technical only feed use the following URL (http://bryanandnoel.spaces.live.com/category/technology/feed.rss). For a family only feed use the following URL (http://bryanandnoel.spaces.live.com/category/family/feed.rss)