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"Kicking" Pat Gelsinger talks the talk

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Intel Developer Forum In a wide-ranging presentation covering the state of the PC market, Pat Gelsinger, senior VP of the desktop product division of Intel US, said that his company was focused on speed, security, simplicity and style. The "four Ss" will be the backbone of his keynote speech at the Forum tomorrow morning, he said. "We will argue that speed still matters," he said. "There's an incredible amount of MIPS used in business. Knowledge management will be important." Speech recognition is only one year away, he said, while quipping that for the last 20 years, it has been the becoming technology that is only two years away. Gelsinger, who masterminded the Pentium III ID number scheme, was unrepentant about the civil liberty furore it has fuelled. He said: "We're turning into an Internet economy. In an Internet world, the ID number is a little chip feature that's turned into a discussion." He said that the issues it had raised in the US about liberty were important. Intel has no hidden agenda, said Gelsinger. "We'll build trust into the Internet world and into that underlying platform," he said. "Any feature can be used properly or inappropriately. Our job is to make the building blocks and get people to use them properly." The last, "S" -- Style, was a necessary part of the future of the PC, said Gelsinger. "The fact of the matter is that the PC has become very dull and drab and we have to innovate style. There's many things we can do. We'll show you some interesting new styles [tomorrow]." He said that prices of PCs will continue to fall. "I don't expect the very rapid decline we saw last year," he said. So-called free PCs were here to stay. "The genie is out of the bottle. Intel will compete on every price point. When you get down to sub-$500 price points you can offer different things. We're going to compete on the $200-$300 level too and we can do that and still make a profit." The FlexATX motherboard design allowed many different types of form factor, he said. Some of the new designs were likely to appear in Autumn or at Christmas, while the bulk will appear by this time next year, he said. Gelsinger frankly admitted that Intel had got it wrong last year with its Celeron platform, allowing AMD to take market share at its expense. But he said that Intel now had it right and will continue to use an aggressive pricing strategy to compete with AMD throughout this year. However, Gelsinger said that new entrants into the marketplace faced a tough time. He said that while the Compaq Alpha chip, for example, was a fine architecture and the company a good one, he doubted whether it could possibly succeed. "Don't underestimate the difficulties of building a new architecture," he told The Register. Those difficulties included third party support at every level, he claimed. "Compaq's a great company but it's going to be very hard for Alpha to compete," he said. ®

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