There was once a time when if you had to bet your company on a technology, you'd also like to have Intel blow on the dice before you rolled them.
Not anymore. The seigneurs of Santa Clara have stumbled a surprising number of times over the past decade in their attempts to muscle their way into a technology other than the microprocessor.
Money talks. Intel knows that. But sometimes the market answers "No. "
First there was graphics where Intel lost about $1 billion before pulling out in the face of competition of nVidia and other small players who, unfortunately for Intel, had better technology.
There have also been a few missteps in the wireless space but at least Intel knows where the future lies.
What's the problem? Why can't Intel hit a home run outside the PC?
An analogy might be drawn in my business, where certain editors (who shall remain nameless) are said to have "printer's ink in their blood." That used to be a compliment until the web came along. Now it means they just can't adjust to the paradigm shift.
Same might be true for Intel. It has "personal computing" in its blood. Its history has determined its culture and its culture determines its approach to new markets.
So what does all this have to do with WiMAX?
Intel is the prime mover behind WiMAX. Having failed in its attempts to dominate pre-existing wireless technologies, it probably felt it would have a better chancea leg up, in fact if it started with a new technology.
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, WiMAX owes virtually all of its performance advantage over cellular to MIMO, which is definitely on cellular technology roadmap. Over the long haul, comparing the technology roadmaps of the respective technologies actually gives cellular an edge.
So if I were a big established company, I might want to tip my hat to WiMAX and support it with a booth at WiMAX World, a design team and a cadre of young marketers.
After all, you never know.
If I were a young company without a lot of financial resources to chase possibly phantom markets, I might take a run at WiMAX.
But I'd find someway to hedge my bet.