Roberto Baldwin on the just-sold Intel television service:

Pricing would be on par with what satellite and cable offered; after all, the networks weren’t going to give the up-and-comer any sort of deal. But what Intel Media was counting on was an experience. Like TiVo, it was a quality play, a service that was better than what was already out there. TiVo customers usually pay a premium to use its box instead of the no-name DVR or satellite box offered by pay-TV providers. On Cue was going to take that even further: It was going to out-Tivo Tivo. And the box was ready to go.

Tivo, we’re-shutting-down-our-hardware-business-Tivo? Yes, that one.1

Newsflash: this is not an easy business to be in. The only thing that matters are the content deals. Without them, your service is going to be DOA. Did Intel actually have those? The article could not make that any less clear. My guess is “no”.

So yes, Intel’s box could have been Tivo. Which is to say, ultimately, a failure.2

  1. Which is odd, since the same person was the author of both articles on the same day

  2. And I loved Tivo. 

Peter Kafka:

Huggers eventually hired a team of 300 workers, built the box and created branding for the service, which was supposed to be called “OnCue.” Thousands of Intel employees have been testing the service in their homes this year. But Intel was never able to secure the programming deals from TV networks it would need for a commercial launch.

This just in: trying to work with Hollywood to secure content is a bitch. It doesn’t matter if you’re a startup or a multi-billion dollar corporation.

Cliff Edwards on Intel’s progress in making a cable TV competitor:

Time Warner Cable and other pay-TV operators are offering incentives to media companies to withhold content from Web-based entertainment services such as the one Intel is pursuing, people with knowledge of the matter said this month. The incentives can take the form of higher payments, or they can include threats to drop programming, the people said then.

Total jackassery.

Alexis Madrigal spoke with outgoing Intel CEO Paul Otellini about the time Intel talked to Apple about powering the original iPhone:

"We ended up not winning it or passing on it, depending on how you want to view it. And the world would have been a lot different if we’d done it," Otellini told me in a two-hour conversation during his last month at Intel. "The thing you have to remember is that this was before the iPhone was introduced and no one knew what the iPhone would do… At the end of the day, there was a chip that they were interested in that they wanted to pay a certain price for and not a nickel more and that price was below our forecasted cost. I couldn’t see it. It wasn’t one of these things you can make up on volume. And in hindsight, the forecasted cost was wrong and the volume was 100x what anyone thought." "My gut told me to say yes," Otellini added.

First of all, either they passed on it or weren’t offered it — seems like a pretty clear-cut difference to me. Not sure why Otellini is trying to trying to obfuscate that. Actually, I get it — one way you’re arguably incompetent, the other way you’re dumb. Lose/lose. 

His follow-up statements sure makes it sound like Intel passed on it, even though Otellini’s gut told him to say “yes”. Yet another lesson in trusting your gut.

A few things:

1) Great, if obvious, title.

2) This is The Register, so it could be all bullshit.

3) Timothy Prickett Morgan:

Intel’s point in hosting Thursday’s meeting with journos and in telling this story about the meeting with Bechtolsheim is that the company wants to demonstrate that it has not been caught by surprise by either the advent of microservers or the movement of the ARM architecture from the smartphone and embedded spaces into the data center.

As the saying goes: if they weren’t too stupid to see the writing on the wall, then they were too incompetent to do anything about it. It’s never clear which is worse.

Adam Satariano, Peter Burrows and Ian King for Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. is exploring ways to replace Intel Corp. processors in its Mac personal computers with a version of the chip technology it uses in the iPhone and iPad, according to people familiar with the company’s research.

I guess this is interesting in that it would be the end of an era, of sorts. And it shows just how far ARM-based chips have come. But ultimately, Apple’s iOS device business is so much larger than the Mac business now (both in volume and revenue) that such a move would almost be an afterthought.

I suspect that yes, this will happen. The last three computers I’ve owned have all seemed to be about the same speed despite newer Intel chips in each. We’ve reached a plateau where most users simply won’t notice a major difference in PC chip upgrades — they’re all “fast enough”. If Apple can get their own A”X” chips up to those speeds in a couple of years, it will likely make sense from a cost perspective alone to make the move. Also, we all know how Apple loves to control the whole stack.

Also, if iOS devices and Macs start running the same silicon, the app compatibility equation becomes even more interesting.

Amazing Quora response the question: “How does Apple keep secrets so well?

Kim Scheinberg (the wife of long-time Apple engineer John Kullmann):

No one has ever reported that, for 18 months, Project Marklar existed only because a self-demoted engineer wanted his son Max to be able to live closer to Max’s grandparents.

(via Tom Cook)

So if I’m reading this correctly: one version of Windows for Intel-based PCs, one for ARM-based tablets, and one for Intel-based tablets.

And let me just guess: one “Professional” version for each platform, one “Home” version for each platform, one “Premium” version for each platform. Probably more.

I’m thinking there will be about 26,000 different combinations for users to choose from!

The end result will be most of them choosing an iPad.