Intel Bullish on PC Market After Earnings Report

Intel's second quarter earnings report, released last week, showed a third consecutive quarter of growth in PC shipments after a protracted decline in the market.

The growth is indicative of enterprises of all sizes refreshing their portable and desktop computers, Intel said. While the company acknowledged that Windows XP's end-of-life has helped fuel the revival, Intel appears optimistic the trend will continue. Intel's Q2 report covers the period when Microsoft officially stopped releasing regular patches for its Windows XP operating system.

Though company officials didn't give specific guidance for future quarters, Intel is optimistic that the pending delivery of new systems based on its new 14nm Broadwell processor will propel demand in the following quarters. The new, smaller CPU is expected to power systems that are lighter and offer better battery life.

Intel said its PC group's revenues of $8.7 million represented a 6 percent increase over the same period last year and a 9 percent jump over the prior quarter.

"The installed base of PCs that are at least four years old is now roughly 600 million units and we are seeing clear signs of a refresh in the enterprise in small and medium businesses," said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich during the earnings call. "While there are some signs of renewed consumer interest and activity, the consumer segment remains challenging, primarily in the emerging markets."

Krzanich was particularly optimistic about the arrival of the newest ultra-mobile systems that will arrive from the 14nm Llama Mountain reference design, which he said will result in fanless, detachable two-in-one systems that are 7.2mm and weigh 24 ounces.

OEMs demonstrated some of these new systems at the recent Computex show in Taipei. Microsoft also showcased many new Windows PCs in the pipeline at last week's Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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