Intel Dangles Subsidy Carrot to Vendors as Part of Android Push - End of Wintel?

Pulkit Chandna

Intel is pulling out all the stops to get a foothold in the mobile and embedded device markets currently dominated by British chip designer ARM. Both the “Oak Trail” Atom platform that Intel began shipping to OEMs a few days earlier and its 32nm successor, codenamed Cloverview, are capable of running Android.

Running Android, however, doesn’t guarantee market success and Intel will need to curry favor with tablet vendors if it hopes to take the attack to ARM. That is precisely what the Santa Clara-based chip maker is rumored to be doing with a new strategy dubbed PRC Plus. So what exactly is this plan all about?

According to a Digitimes report , which cites sources close to notebook vendors, Intel is offering a $10 subsidy on each chip to encourage “first-tier notebook vendors” to adopt its chips for their tablets. This strategy is said to have been chalked out after protracted talks with Google.

Is this the beginning of the end for “Wintel”? This is a question that will be asked with increasing frequency in the near future. The hitherto firm bond between Microsoft and Intel, while still pretty much intact, is now beginning to slacken in this new world where Apple’s oversized iPods are cannibalizing PC sales. In this new world, Microsoft and Intel are no longer opposed to the idea of working with each other’s rivals.

Please feel free to weigh in with your thoughts on the current state of Wintel and what the future holds for this partnership.

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