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Intel Touts Management of PCs

April 25, 2006|From the Associated Press

Trying to stave off further encroachment by rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Intel Corp. on Monday showed off technology designed to help businesses automate the management of large fleets of personal computers.

Intel vPro, which will start shipping in the third quarter, will make it easier for computer administrators to fix problems remotely over the network, in many cases eliminating the need to make costly visits to employees' desks, said Chief Executive Paul Otellini.

"It's all about driving costs down and productivity up," Otellini said. He likened the product to "Geek Squad online," referring to the computer repair people who staff Best Buy stores.

Intel last week reported a 38% profit decline for the first quarter as AMD microprocessors, many of which outperform Intel's current offerings, took market share. With most of AMD's gains in chips for consumer machines and computer servers, vPro appears to be an attempt to prevent losses from spilling into the market for business PCs, long a position of strength for Intel.

VPro, which combines chips and software, also uses so-called virtualization technology to safeguard machines against viruses and other types of malicious software.

It is part of a host of upcoming products designed to enable Intel to regain share in the second half of the year. Intel also plans to start shipping higher-performing desktop and server microprocessors in the third quarter that consume less power.

Intel is also installing a new generation of fabrication equipment that etches 65-nanometer lines in silicon, thinner than the previous 90-nanometer features. The change will allow the company to increase the manufacturing capacity of its factories.

"Technology goes in cycles" that are typically centered on new products or manufacturing techniques, Otellini said. "We're in the beginning of a new cycle."

Intel shares fell 15 cents to $18.91.

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