Intel Shuns Negative Questions on Its Big DayBy Chris Preimesberger | Posted 2006-07-27 Email Print
Reporter's Notebook: At Intel's Core 2 Duo party, the last thing the chip maker wanted to talk about was layoffs and AMD.
SANTA CLARA, Calif.Paul Otellini, Intel's CEO, was visibly annoyed that someone from the media would have the gumption to ask a negative question on July 27, a celebratory day in the chip maker's history: the Core 2 Duo microprocessor launch.
After all, about 1,000 peoplemedia types, analysts, Intel employees, Intel customers, hangers-onwere partying it up at midday in a circus-size tent pitched on the company's Santa Clara campus. Finger food, bottled water and rock music reigned supreme.
This new series of microprocessors is supposed to save Intel's bacon for at least a few years; Core 2 Duo represents the company's biggest product launch since Pentium in 1993.
Intel executives proclaimed the chipsand therefore Intel itselfthe king of the PC processor hill, based on their strengths, which promise a 40 percent increase in performance and a 40 percent reduction in power consumption versus the Pentium D, its predecessor in desktops.
"I'm just wondering," the reporter asked Otellini. "Since your main competitor [AMD] has just announced it is acquiring [graphics processor maker] ATI Technologies and said it intends to put graphics functionality right in the processor, will this mean that Intel will also put graphics in its chips?"
Somewhat flustered, Otellini glared and said: "The short answer is 'yes.' That's the only answer I'm giving. Next question."
The next reporter asked if Intel was going to announce any more layoffs. Sighs onstage. Otellini himself had said two weeks ago that his company had too many management layers and had been stifled by indecision and inefficiency, so about 1,000 managers worldwide would have to go.
Otellini was still irked, but calmed himself and said the company was still evaluating its management needs and would make some decisions by mid-August.
Finally, another reporter asked if the rumors were true that certain ATI graphics-processing products had been pulled from the show floor at the launch due to the ATI's impending merger with the Dark Side.
Sean Maloney, Intel senior vice president for sales and marketing, cut in and said: "Listen, this is a big day for us here ... what kind of a question is that? No, the rumors are not true ... there are about five ATI systems out there right now ..." His voice trailed off.
The questions soon stopped coming.
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