Intel as a good guy? Strange, but the company that has released more chips than McCain's has seemingly cast off its profit cloak and donned the holier-than-thou mantle of IVOR (Industry Voice Of Reason).
The company is telling PC vendors to "keep it simple" in order to rid us all of troublesome legacy components. A noble cause, as legacy support for outdated technologies is one of the main stumbling blocks to us all having the fastest PC hotrods out there. Intel's idea is to eliminate ISA cards (good idea, as the operating system does not always recognise them automatically), do away with VGA display support in favour of a higher quality, universal display standard, and say goodbye to parallel, serial, PS/2, game and other ports by using USB and 1394 instead.
All wonderful. All sensible. All virtually impossible, at least in the short term. The only reason this hasn't happened yet is economies of scale.
The PC vendors will nod sagely at Intel's sermon on the mount and then ignore it to get on with the serious business of making money. PC vendors do not want anything to do with techno-tweaks which ups the cost of their boxes. In a market that's driven by maniacal price wars, there's no room for better technology.
Take USB - we were all meant to have the wonderfully fast and standard USB ports on all our PCs and notebooks at least 18 months ago. Even now, not all new systems have it. Peripheral vendors, despite promises, held the whole process up by not bringing out devices. PC vendors refused to invest claiming there were not enough USB peripherals. And so on.
Most recently, is the support for the high-speed digital interface, 1394.
Intel wanted to release compliant chipsets this year. PC vendors claimed it would push up the cost of PCs and so Intel was convinced to hold off until mid-1999. So despite the high-minded goals, don't expect to have all the best knobs on your PC for some time yet because those that promise the best are just selling you the most convenient.
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