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Can Centrino Kick Start Computer Sales?

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Can Centrino kick start computer sales? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The CEO of Intel, Craig Barrett calls the company's new Centrino processor and chipset for notebook computers a breakthrough... adding wireless Internet access and extending battery life to as long as 6 hours. But Barrett is not so certain about its impact on overall sales...

"I think the political uncertainty with Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, all put a cloud of uncertainty on the marketplace. For our industry to really recover it's going to require increased spending by the enterprise, by the major corporations around the world." So what then would be your sales expectations for the Centrino during the first year? "Well I think the Centrino will rapidly replace our existing technology. We're also seeing notebooks, even in this rather depressed state, the percentage of notebooks sold increases each year relative to desktops, so notebook and mobile computing become more important. So Centrino will rapidly ramp as our product offering in the laptop or mobile marketplace. That begs the question of whether the overall market will ramp and grow." This could cannibalize the desktop sales? "This will certainly cannibalize some of the desktop sales and will cannibalize our existing mobile processor offerings."

Barrett says he is convinced wireless is the next big thing... .akin to email and cell phones. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.