Here's my summary and judgement of Intel's announcements from Paul Otellini's keynote at CES last week.
Theme: Introducing the New Normal
Intel announced two major products:
This is intel's first major processor upgrade since the Pentium, and it's hot. Actually it's cool. It's built using technology known as "dual core" where there's a single chip but basically two processors on it. This makes for a faster, but also more energy efficient process, thus cool in both temperature and young people lingo.
The result will be faster notebook computers with more battery life and smaller PCs overall. In fact, the model tiny PCs they showed looked a lot like the Mac Mini, and given that Intel is making chips for Apple too, I gotta assume the new Mac Mini and all those sexy Mac notebooks will have this new chip inside. Hotness
Every time Intel writes this word down, they mention "it sounds like five." So now you know the proper lingo. Viiv is a little confusing and hard to explain. Viiv is no single thing. It's a collection of technologies that includes a processor (often the dual core joint above), various media chipsets and networking capabilities. All this is in a nice little box powered by Windows Media Center Edition. That's the hardware.
The real point of Viiv is to make it easier to distribute media across the Internet to the home and within the home itself.
First, this means content. Intel signed up a bunch of content people (Yahoo MusicMatch, Movielink, AOL Radio, game services and more) and had them certify their stuff for Viiv. They even went international with a bunch of Bollywood stuff. And the big announcement was a deal with AOL for access to 10,000 backlisted TV shows which will be available for free download, supported by ads. These content people have made their source content Viiv-certified, which means something I still don't quite understand.
Second, it means making it easy to move content around your home. All Viiv devices discover each other on the network. You don't have to fight anymore with WEP wi-fi access keys. Just Viiv it. You can watch your recorded TV shows on your Viiv laptop or desktop or media center PC set top in the living room
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To conclude, Intel is moving beyond making fast processor chips into creating a real platform for entertainment, or so they want us to believe. With all this TV I'll be getting over the Internet, I look forward to trimming back my cable package! I just hope my cable modem is fast enough to handle everything.