New PC bundle bolsters struggling Intel

New PC bundle bolsters struggling Intel

Hewlett-Packard (HP) and other vendors are ready to ship Intel’s vPro technology bundle in their business desktops.

The linchpin of the system is the ‘Conroe’ Core 2 Duo desktop chip, launched in July. Intel combines that processor with a chipset and networking card, then uses Active Management Technology (AMT) and hardware-based virtualisation to make it more efficient.

In April, Intel said the benefits of the vPro system’s combination of hardware and software in desktop PCs were the lowering IT maintenance costs, increased security and improved energy efficiency. The bundle is also expected to include network management tools from Altiris and security tools from Symantec.

Intel sources who have requested anonymity say PC vendors are likely to begin taking orders for vPro-enabled desktops on 7 September, and that beta customers are ready to testify to the cost savings they've achieved.

HP may release the news a day earlier, since that company is planning a 6 September press conference in New York to unveil a new line of business desktop PCs, featuring enhancements to manage the configuration of PCs in medium-sized organisations.

The news is important for struggling Intel, which is in the midst of layoffs and cost-cutting measures after missing earnings targets in recent quarters.

VPro will be Intel's third technology bundle after its popular Centrino system for wireless laptops and the Viiv system for entertainment and media PCs. Together, those three products will account for 25 percent of Intel's revenue in 2006, says CEO Paul Otellini.

To capitalise on that success, Intel plans to add three improvements to the vPro system in 2007. The company will spread it from desktops to notebooks; upgrade the processor from a dual-core to quad-core chip; and extend virtualisation from the processor to the hard drive and I/O channels.

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