“Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.”
TS Eliot, The Wasteland
Yeah, I am quite aware the plural of annum is not annuses but then the headline is more important than the body text.
Both Microsoft and Intel have had a terrible year and Janus, which rhymes with anus, suspects that 2014 won’t be much better for either.
Intel’s “customers” – for that, read compliant vendors – have, like Nero never did, fiddled while Rome burns. The x86 chip is not quite dead but considering the amount of money Intel spent on branding in the 1990s, it must be frustrating for the old lags at Chipzilla – those that are left of course – that the world+dog is not in the slightest bit interested in what component powers the smartphone and the tablet.
Intel, it could successfully be argued, brought it all upon itself by allowing the famous Atom to cannibalise its ever so famous brand. It thought the gravy train would run forever but it found itself at the end of the line, hitting the buffers of indifference and even this old buffer doesn’t care about Intel any more.
The notion that anyone in her or his right mind would pay over the odds because a machine had an Intel chip in it is just plain busted.
Microsoft is a different case. It’s heart is in the right place, that is if any multinational corporation can be said to have a heart. Intel certainly has never been challenged by sentiment. But Microsoft lost the plot too – why would you choose a Microsoft operating system for a phone and a tablet when it has such a big slice of a PC’s pie?
This year has seen the brutal toppling of a quiet, charming man who has a large voice that can be heard 10 blocks away. Steve Ballmer did not deserve the opprobrium heaped upon him by, as Nick Farrell describes them, the Wall Street cocaine nose jobs. Microsoft, like Intel, is now simply irrelevant. The game has changed and both megamoths are tumbling into the dying flame of the X86 monopoly.
Say you are a diplodicus with a huge body and a tiny brain. Does death take longer because of your bulk? I can think of only one IT company that managed to successfully re-engineer itself, and that is IBM under the stewardship of the Nabisco man. Getting in a geezer from Ford to run Microsoft is just plain nuts in May.
No one cares about the operating system, the motherboard, and the CPU any more. Those days are gone. A happy new year to all of our reader (sic) and lang may your lum reek.