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Intel CEO says its ARM-based Windows 8 tablet rivals face a ‘big uphill fight’

by David Needle

May 10 2012

Intel CEO, shown here at CES earlier this year. (Photo: Intel)
Intel CEO, shown here at CES earlier this year. (Photo: Intel)

If all goes as planned, we will finally see the first Windows 8 tablets come to market this fall powered by ARM processors, a major break from Microsoft’s usual reliance on Intel- and AMD-based hardware partners.

Intel has been focused this year on promoting the new generation of Ultrabooks, slim, lighter weight notebooks that sport touchscreens similar to tablets. But chip giant Intel is hardly ready to concede the Windows 8 tablet market to ARM, or anyone else for that matter. 

In remarks at Intel’s investor’s day earlier today in New York City, CEO Paul Otellini said its chip rivals face an “uphill fight” in the market to supply the main processor for Windows 8 tablets, according a report in Forbes. 

Energy-efficient ARM-licensed chips are used in most smartphones and now Microsoft, for the first time, has got on the ARM bandwagon for the forthcoming release of Windows 8 tablets expected to be available from a number of different hardware makers. 

But Otellini said Intel intends to be a major player in both smartphones and Windows 8 tablets. “We’re just getting started here,” he told the investors. 

Looking ahead, Intel’s chief said his company will have mobile processors built on its advanced 14 nanometer manufacturing technology ready by 2014. These new processors will let Intel’s hardware partners build computing devices with new form factors. 

“I don’t think we’ve seen the end state of computing. I don’t think the Ultrabook is it, I don’t think the tablet is it,” he said.

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