Intel to leave desktop motherboard market
Chipzilla checks out
Intel has decided to stop making desktop motherboards. Except one.
In a statement sent to El Reg, a Chipzilla spokesdroid told us “In order to focus on new and innovative areas in desktop computing, Intel has made the decision to ramp down the Desktop Motherboard Business over the course of the next three years.”
Motherboard experts inside the company will be “redistributed to address emerging new form factors – desktop and mobile – and to expand Intel’s Form Factor Reference Design (FFRD) work, and enable its partners to develop exciting new computing solutions.”
The statement continued with an explanation that “New areas of focus include integration of innovative solutions for the PC ecosystems such as the recently announced Next Unit of Computing (NUC), and deeper relationships with OEM and ODMs for the next generation of Ultrabooks, All-in-One PCs and future innovative products.”
The mention of NUC is notable, as it appears Intel will keep making the boards for the tiny computer it launched last November for applications like digital signage. Indeed, the tweet below from the @Intel boards Twitter account confirms Chipzilla remains very interested indeed in the small machines, motherboard and all.
@sxpert1 We're doubling down on NUC -- it becomes our focus product.^jm— Intel Boards (@IntelBoards) January 23, 2013
Intel's motherboards won't be missed, in the nicest-possible way, as the company sold just four million a year or so of the devices. That number is dwarfed by market leaders ASUS and Gigabyte.
Those companies will presumably pick up the sales Intel's abandoning and will continue to get lots of love given their importance to CPU sales.
PC-makers reliant on Intel boards will get a big hug on the way out the door, with the statement saying the company will “be in lock-step with ODMs to transition customers to new desktop motherboard solutions in the future.”
Intel is also at pains to point out that exiting the motherboard business isn't a signal it will stop designing or making other desktop componentry, insisting “the Desktop segment continues to be a major focus for Intel with hundreds of products across many sub-segments and applications.”
The way PC sales are going, it's interesting to speculate how long that statement will hold true. ®
Intel Desktop Mobos
A pity, they were never the fastest or most groundbreaking product but they are rock solid reliable
The Channel likes the product, sure a few dollars more than an ASUS oe Gigabyte equivalent, but Intel's warranty policy is fairly decent.
I don't think most will miss the products, but the OEMs may just shed a tear or two.. after all the little "Genuine Intel BOXDH77EB - Eb Lake LGA 1155 Motherboard" on the quote gives some buyers a peace of mind..
Most buyers want....
...Laptops and fodleslabs....
But seriously, I'd say most buyers are motivated by price and spec more than "cutting edge design". Remember that most new tech purchaes these days aren't by power users, but rather by regular consumers who will take what's offered, if the price is right.
In order to focus on new and innovative areas in desktop computing, Intel has made the decision to ramp down the Desktop Motherboard Business
Are they implying there's no innovation left to be had doing MB's?
Or are they implying there's no profitable innovation left to be had doing MB's...
And re: comments on performance...remember the differences in performance between boards was often only a few percentage points. I'd happily trade a tiny performance loss for far better reliability - it's a no brainer.
What a shame
This really is disappointing news. Like Mondo the Magnificent said, they weren't the most feature-packed boards available, and they certainly weren't the cheapest, but they definitely were absolutely rock-solid reliable.
You could always count on two things with Intel motherboards: 1) They'd work precisely according to their published specifications (which tended to be comprehensive and well written), no more and no less; and 2) They could be relied on to keep ticking, year in and year out. That made them perfect for machines that had to conform to a custom specification and sit in a dusty corner of an office somewhere, reliably chugging along and mainly forgotten about.
This news makes sense, though. My new main work machine has an Intel motherboard and I've come across a few sloppy firmware bugs that would have been unheard of a few years ago. Presumably some staff involved with motherboard development have already moved on.
knowing a small OEM and repair shop that's been around since 1984 .. by FAR most customers, including gamers want the reliability first .. I don't care how "cutting edge" the PC a customer has .. they are NOT happy when hardware dies or glitches even occasionally
other than one failing hard drive I was able to clone completely, not losing a thing .. I have not had a piece of hardware fail in over 15 years .. all Intel CPU and the 2 most recent .. Intel Mobos ..
have a 200MMX Win95b machine that I boot up every few months just to see if it will .. same with a P3 667 Win98SE .. those both have GigaByte boards, in those times, the reliable choice