Intel Launches Professional Business Platform

By launching the Intel 2005 Professional Business Platform this month, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker is seeking to create a big, desktop-based umbrella under which its components and new features can reside.

Mike Feron-Jones, director of the business clients group at Intel's Digital Office Platforms Division, said the new name was not considered branding per se but more a unified effort to unite the company's desktop offerings around new technology. Key to that will be the Stable Image Platform Program, which, among other things, will streamline the number of system images produced throughout the company's desktop product lineup.

Intel is seeking to create a big, desktop-based umbrella under which its components can reside.

"You want to be able to buy thousands of PCs, qualify it once and buy more to deploy in your environment," Feron-Jones said.

Until now, Intel had managed what it described as a "diverse PC fleet"—which included four new system images per year from its product line, with a four-year life cycle, for a total of 16 active system images in its lineup. With the new initiative, Intel will introduce two system images per year, with three-year life cycles, to reduce the total to six active system images at any one time.

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"What I'm hearing from my channel sales organization is this program is a benefit to even small businesses," Feron-Jones said. "What they like to know is, 'I bought a PC in July with one system image. I got it to work. If I buy another one with the same image, I want it to work, too.' "

The move has the potential to take some confusion out of the process, some believe.

"I would say whatever makes the system more reliable, I think that's a good idea," said Jalil Mahini, owner of Micronet Systems, a Niles, Ill.-based system builder. "The more images and the more platforms, I think clients do get confused. To simplify it would be a better way to go."

In addition to the Stable Image Platform Program, Intel is touting the inclusion of its Intel Active Management Technology, Hyper-Threading and graphics accelerators—all previously announced technologies—into its desktop platform.