With its acquisition of embedded software leader Wind River Systems Inc., Intel Corp. has unambiguously signaled that it is again attempting to diversify beyond X86 processors. Intel has tried and largely failed in the past to expand into markets like ASICs and communications.
By acquiring Wind River and its open-source approach to embedded software development, Intel could change the game in the embedded market this time around by making, according to our Rick Merritt, "the Wind River Linux and RTOS variants first-class citizens on Intel's CPUs." In so doing, Intel also will effectively end the Wintel duopoly of the 1990s. Good riddance.
Meanwhile, in an interview with business editor Bolaji Ojo, an Intel spokesman said: "We have very ambitious plans to grow in the embedded area as a key part of our strategy to turn every electronic product into computing equipment. We are looking at multibillion opportunities in the embedded area, and while our software and services sales are nominal, [Intel's software] group is more strategic for the company's future." Even Intel, it now appears, sees more market upside and innovation potential in software than in microprocessors alone.
We polled our U.S. and European editors to get their take on the deal. Here are samples of their take. Make sure to let us know your take in the Forum below.