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Grove wants to manage PCs

Intel's CEO Andy Grove unveils a broad initiative intended to cut the total cost of owning a PC by 15 percent.

NEW YORK--Intel (INTC) CEO Andy Grove today unveiled a broad initiative intended to cut the total cost of owning a PC by 15 percent before next year.

At an Intel-sponsored event in New York City entitled "Wired For Management," Grove sketched out a multifaceted approach combining built-in hardware management coupled with software tools. He said this approach, rather than simplifying the increasingly complex PC, will both simplify keeping track of hardware and software upgrades and bring down the costs associated with this task. (See related stories, Intel launches new server and Intel introduces management initiative.)

"What we need to do is cut into the total cost of ownership without cutting into the flexibility and adaptability" of the PC, Grove told the crowd. He estimated that, through the Wired for Management initiative, the annual cost of ownership of a PC could be cut from $9,324 to $6,800 by next year.

To do that, Intel must help make PCs more manageable. Said Grove "What we are after are PCs managed by PCs."

Today's initiative follows the recent release of a study from comptuer consultancy Gartner Group that concluded that "the quest for greater manageability is requisite to the long-term viability of the PC."

If that's true, then Intel's basic job of selling as many microprocessors as possible is in danger. This explains Intel's motivation.

But Intel also managed to attract the support of several other vendors driven by related but different concerns. As the management of networks has evolved and matured--at least in terms of products--the last remaining hurdle for the networking industry has been management of the PC, often a machine customized to cater to each users individual preferences. Administrators have largely given up trying to manage the PC, according to several analysts at today's event.

Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network.