Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More catching up...

Yes, it's been far too long a gap in posting. Travel, vacation, some family stuff, and before you know it a few weeks have elapsed. C’est la vie.

In case there's anyone who hasn't seen the video of Conan O'Brian's visit ot Santa Clara, it's worth a look. I found several things about this video amazing: that Intel allowed Conan into the building with a video crew, that they allowed him to openly mock the work environment, and most surprisingly, that Sr. management embraced it. I first heard about this video in an email that had originally been sent from a Sr. VP to his staff.

Some local Oregon news: Intel is moving out of the Elam Young building. Intel has been leasing space there since 1984! And one more Oregonian article about an Intel engineer who left to start his own business. Worth a read to get some perspective on tech jobs in Oregon vs. the SF and Seattle.

Attrition in IT still seems to be high based only on my personal contacts. People are moving to other groups or out of Intel faster than I've seen previously. This could be just my perspective, as I don't have any data to validate this trend. I think losing people from IT is generally a good thing as belt tightening continues. I'd much rather see people find other opportunities rather than another round of layoffs. I am seeing some disciplined cuts taking place in IT, particularly around removing redundant tools and functions, and attrition may be related this.

When I watched Craig Barrett on 60 Minutes discussing the One Laptop Per Child initiative, my reaction was that he was well reasoned and made perfect sense. I don't see why OLPC should have a monopoly on providing cheap laptops to students. I would think they would be encouraging more competition. But Intel has the ability to look bad when trying to be competitive. There's no question that Intel sees this as a business opportunity, but I don't see how OLPC can be sustainable long term unless it's run as a viable business. One colleague described Craig's appearance as reminiscent of Dick Cheney.

And speaking of looking bad, Intel will apparently be lowering prices on processors again next month. I like seeing our expensive processors sell well. But people smarter than me have decided it makes more sense to cut prices, probably for deeper penetration of C2D and C2Q processors. But the press is positioning this an attack on AMD. Bloomberg and BusinessWeek are both saying that Intel's intent is to cause problems for AMD. I suppose that's possible. Is it not more likely that Intel's intent is to continue to win back market share and be as competitive as possible? Was AMD trying to cause harm to Intel when they were kicking our butts with their processors a couple of years ago? No, they were trying to grow their business and were worried about their bottom line. Regardless of the impact, prices coming down this quickly has to be good for consumers.

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