When Apple converted to Intel in 2005 that was big. But 2008 Intel Atom converts make this look like a small-town baptism.
Overall, it was a good year for the Intel faithful. Intel handily beat Advanced Micro Devices in the PC processor performance war. (Not coincidentally, AMD was forced to to save itself.) But that really was last year's news since AMD had not been delivering competitive processors for almost two years.
The tectonic shift in 2008 came as one PC maker after another adopted Intel's new Atom processor. Count 'em: Acer, Asus, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Toshiba--to mention only the largest vendors. (and expected to hit between 10 and 20 million units this year.)
This wasn't one sole convert (like Apple), this was a Pentecostal conversion of biblical proportions. Almost overnight, the entire top tier of the PC industry got the Atom religion. In fact, it happened so quickly and so massively that companies like AMD and Qualcomm didn't know what hit them.
Wait a minute, Qualcomm seemed to say, One-Laptop-Per-Chip XO laptop, the Geode never came close to the commercial success (or performance) of the Atom., why is Intel running away with this market? (Even Intel was a bit surprised at the swiftness of Atom adoption in Netbooks.) And though AMD had helped pioneer the market by supplying its Geode processor for the progenitor of the Netbook, the
AMD took notice, however,for the ultraportable market (an upscale Netbook or cheap notebook--however you want to look at it) at the Consumer Electronics Show.
And. And seemed to be posing the same questions. Hey, if everyone's doing this, is this the Second Coming of the PC? Or, at least, a restructuring of the traditional price structure of the PC market? (The other question Nvidia is asking itself is whether it can ).
Oh, and we almost forgot Microsoft. Not initially enthusiastic about the Netbook market because of its XP-centric nature, Microsoft seems to have also gotten the Netbook religion with Windows 7 .