Feeds

Acer silences Thunderbolt

USB 3.0 is cheaper, more useful and powers kit people actually want

Application security programs and practises

Intel's Thunderbolt I/O protocol looks just a little less likely to threaten USB's status as the world's preferred way of connecting stuff to computers, after Acer decided it can't be bothered using it in PCs any more.

The Taiwanese company, which is clinging on as the world's fourth most-prolific PC-pusher, last week slipped out a few new models.

All were sans Thunderbolt, a fact CNET put to an Acer spokesperson who confirmed the company is walking away from the standard.

The spokesperson cited the cost of building Thunderbolt into systems as one reason for the move. USB 3.0's speed, prevalence and ability to charge devices were also mentioned as reasons for that standard being at least as good as Intel's new baby.

Plenty of other PC-makers still offer Thunderbolt. The most enthusiastic is Apple, which has promised half a dozen Thunderbolt 2 ports in its forthcoming cylindrical Mac Pro.

That configuration makes sense when you consider the market into which Apple pitches the Pro, which we think it's reasonable to characterise as specialist workstations designed for media production. Such applications need a lot of fast I/O and half a dozen Thunderbolt ports delivers that in spades.

It also makes sense when one considers the official list of available Thunderbolt products, which includes an awful lot of storage devices and various bits of video production kit.

But that list includes precious little that mainstream laptop-buyers would find tantalising. Baking Thunderbolt into laptops when punters won't find it useful is therefore far from sensible.

Vulture South is no fan of declaring unloved technologies “dead”: one can still buy descendants of the Z80 processor. Technologies do, however, often reach a point at which they clearly won't ever be of concern to mainstream users.

Acer losing interest in Thunderbolt probably may not be that tipping point. It probably is an uncomfortable moment for Intel: millions of potential annual sales evaporating and a major player walking away from the standard is impossible to spin as good news for Thunderbolt's future. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft confirms secret Surface will never see the light of day
Microsoft's form 8-K records decision 'not to ship a new form factor'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.