Intel, Microsoft Records Make Trust a Tough Sell

Opinion: Shifting roadmaps and poor execution of plans give customers and partners little reason to trust Intel and Microsoft, even as execs talk up what they say is ahead.

The foremost companies of our industry this year look to be having trouble executing on plans to provide technologies promised in ballyhooed promotions.

But as customers and partners complain about changes and failed strategies, the response from corporate executives remains the same: Trust us!

That simple, dont-worry-be-happy message—so easy to give as well as to receive when things are going well—becomes less credible and more worrisome with each tweak of a product roadmap.

Both Intel and Microsoft provide leading examples of this dilemma since the companies have either canceled or pared back major technology directions this year.

For example, heres a rundown of some of Intels recent twists and turns:

  • In January, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Intel said it would produce LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon) processors for high-definition televisions in 2005. Analysts said the chip—as well as the backing of an industry leader such as Intel—would shake up the economics for this growing market. Intel said the chip would let vendors offer 50-inch HDTVs costing less than $2,000.

The company was expected to ship sample chips to partners in the summer, but nothing was released. In mid-August, Intel said it would delay the product.

The company instead was "evolving its development plans and wont bring our initial product to market this year," a spokeswoman told ExtremeTech at the time. "We are heading down a path of developing technology that will enable clear product differentiation with improved picture quality."

Well, that evolution came to a dead end this month as the company pulled the plug on the chip and involvement in the market.

  • First slated for release this fall, a 4-GHz version of the Pentium 4 architecture in late July was reported delayed until early 2005. But Intel this month said it had canceled plans for the single-core processor.

/zimages/5/28571.gifRead an eWEEK interview here with Intel CEO Craig Barrett on the gigahertz race and other matters.

The company now points to its advancement of performance, power-handling and production capabilities with forthcoming dual-core processors, due later in 2005 and 2006. The transition to multiple cores aims to address the growing problems of current leakage and power consumption found in the faster chips made using the companys smaller fabrication process.

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