Word on the street is that the WinTel alliance is on its last legs and that the Vole has its sights set on Qualcomm as its new partner.
It would have been inconceivable a few years back but Vole and Qualcomm have been forging a much closer relationship on the mobile front recently, mostly because Intel had not got a decent presence in that market.
It paves the way for Qualcomm and other smartphone chip makers such as Nvidia and Texas Instruments to slowly replace Chipzilla.
Michael Walkley, an analyst with investment firm Canaccord Genuity was quoted as saying that the two largest players in the industry, Intel and Qualcomm, are on a road map to compete head-to-head over the next several years.
Even if the PC chip market survives over the next decade it is going to be influenced by mobile chip developments which call for much lower power use.
Tablets, and even Chipzilla’s answer to them, the Ultrabook, require more bang for less lecky and that is more Qualcomm’s territory than Intel’s..
Microsoft had been predicting a move to tablets for years, it just hoped that it would be based on its vision rather than Jobs’ Mob, so it has had a plan for this for a while now. It has already made Windows compatible with smartphone processors and the next logical thing is to move away from x86 completely.
What might stop Vole and Qualcomm in the sort term cementing any decent alliance is that that older software may not work on a Windows 8 computer with an ARM-based processor. It will have to look for some kind of workable virtualisation to do this, however it is not impossible.
Intel, and for that matter AMD, will not go down without a fight either. It might be that the pair might pull a technological rabbit from the hate which will keep x86 viable. In the shorter term though, it does look like Vole is moving away from the alliance which made it successful.