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Intel mycelium: the spores bud

Not a niche but a very cunning plan

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Intel Developer Forum John Miner and Mark Christiansen, senior VPs of Intel's burgeoning network division, have outlined their plans to provide Internet infrastructure by providing services and products intended to keep firms up and running. Intel today introduced a branding scheme called eightseconds, aimed at keeping online businesses going. According to Miner, those eight seconds can make the difference between someone staying on your Web site, or clicking onto a competitor's site, perish the thought. The strategy and product rollout is so far sevenfold, said Miner, and include data balancing products based on iPivot products. Other components of eightseconds include cacheing, e-commerce acceleration products, e-commerce director, and services and solutions. Miner said the services and products are aimed at ASPs, ISPs, and are just the beginning of family of services. He also said that as far as he was aware, this was a part of the Internet market which has not so far been addressed, and that Intel did not compete here with Nortel, Cisco and the rest. In fact, and reading between the lines, Intel has quietly diversified in the networking business over the last couple of years, and now finds itself in a position where substantial revenues will accrue from a growing business. This cunning plan includes vast server farms using IA-64 and IA-32 server technology, deals -- such as the one it struck with Symbol earlier this week -- and straightforward takeovers. Just look at Intel's Capital site for evidence of this. Further, Intel has brokered deals with seven top US universities including the People's Republic of Berkeley and MIT to advance its plans. Ericcson, Nokia, Marconi, Phobos and Radisys all love IXA to death, said Miner. He added that Intel will continue to invest in companies to make its portfolio just that little bit fatter. He said: "If we told you who those companies are, we'd have to take you out and shoot you." In Intelspeak, that's execution. It also leads us to speculate that although Intel wants to blanket the world with its silicon, as Pat Gelsinger put it so evocatively the other day, its core microprocessor business is becoming less and less important as time goes on. Both Christiansen and Miner declined to give any idea whatever of how much revenue will accrue from this "building block" stuff, but the graph they showed looks a bit like that Moore's Law thingie that we've all seen so many times. The fruits of the mycelium are beginning to blossom, and so it's wild mushrooms and toadstools all round. ® Intel Developer Forum: Spring 2000 Full coverage

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