Feeds

Acer silences Thunderbolt

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Man buys iPHONE 6 and DROPS IT to SMASH on PURPOSE
Yarrrgh! 'Tis Antipodean insanity, ye crazy swab
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Your chance to WIN the WORLD'S ONLY HANDHELD ZX SPECTRUM
Reg staff not allowed to enter, god dammit
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.