Former Intel employee and current CEO of VMware, Mr. Paul Maritz recently "opened a can of whoop-ass" on the x86 architecture. Delivering a keynote speech at TiEcon 2009, Paul attacked Intel's pitch of "x86 inside mobile device" with powerpoint slideware that just ripped into Intel's x86 "green" pitch.
According to the TechPulse360, Paul didn't spare heavy words to the assembled audience: "It’s a power hog, it loves electricity, all those [unused] gates are basically consuming power". If you thought that this was less than flattery, this quote made sure Intel's PR machine gets into damage limitation mode with the following statement: "It’s all junk silicon."
To make matters worse for the chip giant from Santa Clara, Paul is not just the head of VMware, Intel's very important partner on the virtualization marketplace, but is also a former employee of EMC, Pi, Microsoft and most importantly, Intel. Thus, it was no surprise when Paul laid things out how he sees them and the reasons for the return of Intel in these waters.
Paul also attacked Intel's first adventure in the handheld business using the ARM architecture: "These devices were kind of low end, low power, low profit. And eventually Intel decided to get out of that business and go back to their roots of high performance, complex microprocessors, but they made a mistake leaving that market alone as it got better and better and now this ARM thing is a real problem."
Given the timeline of this keynote, this wasn't a reaction to Intel-Nokia announcement, even though VMware is a company "in the know" about technology trends, as they rule the virtualization market. While all of these comments were intended for the mobile space, we cannot miss the fact that it looks that VMware isn't exactly happy with its relationship with Intel.
The sure thing is, the relationship between Intel and VMware is a complex one and one that spans on many layers - but Intel's handheld division lead by Anand Chandrasekher will have a hard time pitching the x86 on a handheld if industry heavy-weights such as Paul Maritz continue to ridicule x86 architecture in this way.
On the other hand, those statements might be right on target. As always, we leave the benefit of the doubt on our respected readership.
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