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Wintel touts the next leap in computing

Big picture show for WinXP, Pentium 4

Intel Developer Forum Intel has demonstrated a working 3.5GHz processor as part of a joint offensive by Microsoft to shake off the spectre of tech recession that hangs over this year's Intel Developer Forum.

The demo, at Intel general manager Paul Otellini's keynote this morning, followed hot on the heels of a yesterday's 2GHz Pentium 4 launch. It came dovetailed with a pitch by Microsoft group vice president Jim Allchin on the joy of Windows XP.

Otellini said the focus of the industry should turn away from focusing on the next megahertz to building a substantially better computing experience, which painted the 3.5GHz demo in a pale light, but was designed to project a bigger picture.

A renewed Wintel alliance is suggesting that a WinXP and Pentium 4 combo gives users the next step increment in personal computing: easy manipulation of sound and image files in a way that consumers (and business) will find compelling, and older PCs can't deliver.

The target for obsolescence here are older PCs that users in business and home have stuck for longer than suits the industry, more particularly it's the 150 million machines with processors running at 500MHz or below.

"Users have not been upgrading because the improvement in functional capability was not enough," said Allchin.

This isn't a comment we recall from the Windows 2000 launch, but that aside, there seems a real belief in the industry that WinXP will revive demand through its ability to make stuff such as picture manipulation and wireless networking far easier. ®

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