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Intel announces globo-dominance 'Cloud 2015' plan

$50bn of CIOs, major vendors already signed up

Any silicon you like - long as it's Intel

Intel says it will have no control over the Alliance, but it has been formally made "technical advisor" - indicating that it might get privileged access at the very least.

Vendors are also encouraged to work directly with Intel via its related "Cloudbuilders" programme, which already has such major players as HP, IBM, Microsoft, Canonical, Red Hat, EMC and Parallels signed up.

"If you're asking as a CIO, what can I do right now about moving forward," said Davis, "Cloudbuilders is supposed to be the answer". He insisted that kit developed early under this programme before the Alliance could hammer out any standards (or even "implementations") could still be replaced with the next-gen kit easily and simply down the road. The benefits of "federated" 2015 cloud are, apparently, already on offer.

"You can deploy the cloud today with no lock-in risk," he stated.

Talking to the Reg after the briefing, Davis admitted that a description of the Cloudbuilders scheme as "any silicon you like as long as it's Intel" was fair, but insisted that the chip colossus "does not have a unique advantage" in its position as sole advisor to the Alliance. Asked why there had been no attempt to include other chip makers such as AMD, ARM etc he told the Reg:

"Forcing the process to be less efficient by having more names involved would defeat the process."

All in all, it would seems that the new cloudy future from Intel and its allied customers and vendors could go any one of three ways.

It might, as Davis says, permit massive market expansion in which everyone gets rich as a booming IT sector hooks up billions more people to the worldwide net ever more efficiently and capably, with increased efficiency outweighed by expansion leading to climbing sales for Intel.

It might alternatively develop into a ruthless mechanism whereby Intel further consolidates its dominant market position, holding every part of the IT industry in an iron grip all the way from the fab to the end user and squeezing everyone else involved to the benefit of its own bottom line.

Or, of course, it may all fall on its arse and ultimately mean nothing. We'll just have to wait and see. ®

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