"Toshiba had big plans earlier this year for the U.S.
release of a laptop with an energy-efficient chip from Transmeta, a
product that would have represented a coup for the upstart
chipmaker in its rivalry with mighty Intel.
But in the latest setback for Transmeta, Toshiba quietly pulled
the plug on the notebook this summer, partly because of delays
surrounding Transmeta's latest chip, executives told CNET
Since it launched a successful public offering one year ago, the
company has switched CEOs twice, the stock price has plunged amid
the broader economic slump, and its chips are still scarce in the
United States. In addition, the company has been hit with
manufacturing missteps that have prevented it from stealing
customers from Intel and carving out a successful niche in the $22
billion microprocessor market.
In some respects, Transmeta's battle with Intel mirrors the
plight of smaller companies that have competed with Microsoft in
the software market. In both industries, the barriers to entry have
become so high that many companies are reluctant to compete, and
those that do fight a David-and-Goliath battle that has been brutal
on the little guy."