Bob’s Big Picture technology predictions for 2017

2016-17I couldn’t put it off any longer so here are my technology predictions for 2017. I’ve been reading over my predictions from past years and see a fundamental change in structure over that time, going from an emphasis on products to an emphasis on companies. This goes along, I’d say, with the greater business orientation of this column. That makes sense with a maturing market and mature industries and also with the fact that a fair number of readers are here mainly as investors, something that didn’t used to be so much the case.

Of course we begin with a look at my predictions from a year ago to see how I did. Almost nobody in […]

Prediction #9: Intel starts to become irrelevant

2016predictionsI know I promised that my next 2016 prediction would be Apple’s big acquisition, and I will publish that prediction soon as my #10, but right now I just have to say what a perilous position Intel is in. The company truly risks becoming irrelevant, which is an odd thing to say about a huge, rich outfit that would appear from the outside to pretty much dominate its industry — an industry the company created. Intel won’t go away, I just think there is a very good chance they’ll no longer matter.

We’re approaching the end of the closed, proprietary, single source technology era. ARM processors are freely licensed, more open, and much […]

Why Intel wants to be everyone’s chip maker

intelbrainThis is the first in a series of columns on the strategic direction of several major technology companies that have faltered of late. We’ll start here with Intel, follow in a couple days with Cisco followed by Microsoft, then see where it goes from there.

At Intel’s annual shareholders’ meeting last week the company talked about moving strongly into mobile chips and selling its stillborn OnCue over-the-top video streaming service, but the most important story had to do with expanding Intel’s manufacturing capacity. This latter news is especially important because if you look at the square footage of 14 nanometer fab facilities Intel says it will be bringing online in the next two to […]

Intel may be dumb but they aren’t stupid

I was already working on a column about AMD purchasing multicore server maker SeaMicro, pointing out what a coup the deal is for AMD, when the story appeared yesterday about an Intel executive claiming the chip giant had been offered SeaMicro and chose to pass on the deal, followed by a SeaMicro board member claiming the Intel exec’s statement was a bald lie. Who is telling the truth here?  Who is lying?  And does it matter? It is my opinion the answers are that both are telling the truth, nobody is lying, and none of it matters very much. Here’s why…

Remember Bill Clinton saying in a deposition that the […]

By |March 9th, 2012|2012|39 Comments

Too Big to Fail

I wrote a few days ago about the Intel anti-trust settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. Those words stand unchanged but some readers have asked for more so I have given the deal further thought and have what might be a better context in which to place it — Too Big to Fail. This isn’t “too big to fail” in the Bush/Obama big bank context in which failing and stupid institutions are saved at any cost to the public. Intel, in contrast, literally is too big to fail, at least right now.

Everything about the Intel/FTC settlement screams of one thing — Microsoft. Redmond’s multi-year nightmare with the FTC, DoJ, and the attorneys-general of several dozen […]

By |August 12th, 2010|2010|67 Comments