Intel is a tough competitor.Â Maybe not as ruthless as Microsoft was but they know many of the same plays.
For example recently Intel has taken steps to tell manufacturers that it will not "unbundle" their own 945 graphic chipsets from the Atom processor lineup.Â This has the fairly simple effect of locking out or making it very hard to justify a GPU from NVidea or AMD/ATI in any design.
Intel is obviously trying to control the market and ensure that Atom-based systems are useful but not too useful which they could be if other chips could be integrated into the design.Â Since it is a legitimate threat one can understand Intel being concerned.Â But how about competing on features and price instead of using market power to block better solutions from other companies?
As the web enters a new phase of more visual, more mobile computing it’s going to be important for the market to have freedom in designing the right architectures for these new applications. Rather than lead the way Intel seems to be keen to block innovation and eliminate those that try to compete on it.
We will always have a soft spot for Intel because they provided an educational grant to me when I was a kid to design S-100 CPU boards based on their then-new 8088 and 8086 designs.Â But this behavior is sad and hurts technology in general.
[Disclosure: At the time of this writing we have a major emphasis on visual/mobile computing and a small position in NVDA shares.]