There's no question Intel is sdoing everything it can to get into this market as aggressively as possible. I am not sure they will be limited to an eight-core offering though. It seems to me that their product lineup will span as far and wide as they can possibly get it to. They won't be giving up their edge in traditional x86 platforms anytime soon either.
The competition will come down to cost-performance ratio. Cost will cover daily operational cost. It means power consumption of the server (not just the CPU). Performance will include not only MIPS but also how many VMs and services can be run on a single server.
Is there a comparison study of x86 vs ARM? Ideally, a benchmark study.
The natural conclusion is that Intel will reduce its profit margins considerably to be able to compete. If that trend continues, earnings per share will go down and shareholders will start to question the current strategy. I personally do not think this is sustainable.
Even though the market is very well served today, Intel has a lot of muscle. I expect that they can take a big portion of the market, but they may not be the best fit for the job. We will watch as the market changes.
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