Asus chairman: the Wintel era is over

By on June 14, 2011, 8:00 AM

Asus chairman Jonney Shih has declared that the so-called Wintel era is over. This means one OS vendor and one CPU vendor will no longer be able to dominate the PC market. The death of Wintel will offer a brand new opportunity for system vendors to thrive again in the IT market, Shih said according to DigiTimes.

For those who don't know, Wintel is a portmanteau of Windows and Intel. It refers to personal computers using Intel x86 compatible processors running Microsoft Windows, and is often used to describe how these two companies have dominated the PC market by making sure their software (Microsoft's operating system) and hardware (Intel's processors) are optimized together.

This shift is of course being attributed to the explosion of the tablet market, but I think it's not that simple. I think it comes down to the consumerization of the mobile PC. Sure, when desktops needed to become portable for businesses, we invented laptops. The death of Wintel all started, however, when consumers started buying more laptops than businesses bought desktops.

At the same time as this was happening, the Internet became much more powerful and accessible. Since compatibility isn't as important to consumers as it is to businesses, the non-compliant alternatives to Wintel started to thrive. Add all the other portable devices other than laptops that you can think of, and you have the whole picture: the PC suddenly became anything electronic that could perform more than one function, and it didn't have come from the Wintel tree.

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