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The Register: Intel Linux devices challenge MS - but at the server end

Jan 05, 2000, 21:01 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Lettice)

"Intel's shiny new web appliances do indeed shun Windows in favour of Linux, but a closer examination of Intel's strategy makes it clear that this is the least of the headaches Chipzilla is presenting its 'ally' Microsoft with. Aside from building a range of cheap, Intel-branded access devices the company is proposing to challenge Microsoft in a whole range of key areas, and the battlefield is going to be software, not chips."

"Intel describes its "Web appliance strategy" as consisting of three components. First of all there are the appliances themselves, intended to be used "to bring the Internet to new devices in the home," according to Claude Leglise, general manager of the Intel Home Products Group. These will indeed run Linux on Celeron processors, but considering their nature that's neither here nor there; they're intended to be dependent on remote applications and management capabilities (maybe they're really, ahem, NCs...) so it's perfectly possible to plug in kit based on other hardware and other software. Intel itself has produced appliances using VXWorks, for example, while even Microsoft has started to sound more agnostic about client operating systems - really, as both companies understand, the money's going to be upstream of this, at the server end."

"The red light must have started flashing and the klaxon sounding at Fort Redmond when they got to the next part of the Intel strategy: Intel will be providing "appliance management capabilities." This is of course server software stuff, and doesn't have anything to do with chips per se. More alarm signals will have been generated by component three, "services packages building blocks." Intel is proposing to put together solutions that do pretty much what Microsoft has been proposing to do; "work with other companies that...will provide applications and content for the Intel Web appliance," and to "assist service providers in developing service offerings."

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