Okay, someone explain this to me: Intel, a company that makes microprocessors, is backing and selling — but not profiting from — a suite of “Enterprise 2.0″ software for companies that includes blogging software (Typepad), a wiki (Socialtext), and RSS feed software (Simplefeed and Newsgator), called Suite Two.

Is the microchip giant hoping that a little Web 2.0 pixie dust will get sprinkled on it, just like Level 3 seems to be? It’s obviously not in it to make any money, since it has already stated that it doesn’t intend to make any from the venture. So it must be hoping that companies will need to upgrade their machines to dual-core monsters to run all that Enterprise 2.0 gee-whizzery, right? Please.

intel

The whole point of these kinds of software is that they are lighter and more versatile — and cheaper — than traditional ways of doing business with employees and customers. So why would Intel want to bundle them up and charge an arm and a leg for them? More to the point, why would anyone go for that deal?

The implication is that big companies are so slow-moving and dim-witted that they need the Intel name to get them comfortable with anything new, and are willing to pay through the nose for it. Unfortunately, that’s probably not far from the truth in a lot of cases. And meanwhile, Intel the plumber gets to look all cool by hanging with the hip Web 2.0 crowd.

Update:

Josh Bancroft, who works at Intel, has a great overview on his blog Tiny Screenfuls.

About the author

Mathew 2406 posts

I'm a Toronto-based former senior writer with Gigaom and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

10 Responses to “Is it just me, or is Intel desperate?”
  1. software. I personally think that the open-source software movement rocks. I love that I can get advice and awesome plugins for my Firefox from a million different braniacs all over the world. But that’s not the way people do business. Intel critic Matthew Ingram wrote that the corporate crowd is so “slow-moving and dim-witted” that theyneed the Intel brand to get comfortable with anything new. I suppose that’s one way to look at it. But it’s not very apt.

  2. for companies who want to buy SuiteTwo will be $200 per year per person. That is, if I’m a company of 10 people, it will cost me $2000 per year. I’ve been following reaction to this announcement in the blogosphere. Sentiments range from skeptical (Matthew Ingram wonders, “Is it just me, or is Intel desperate'”) to misguided (I read one post that I can’t find now, saying Intel was giving a boost to the open source movement, but none of these products are open source). Mostly, no one really knows what to think about it, because this is a paper/vapor release.

  3. […] Is it just me, or is Intel desperate? Mathew Ingram asks some direct questions about why Intel is getting into the social software reselling business. Is it just to be associated with “Web 2.0″? (tags: Intel Blog-Topic Mathew-Ingram Opinion Social-Networking) […]

  4. […] Okay, someone explain this to me: Intel, a company that makes microprocessors, is backing and selling – but not profiting from – a suite of “Enterprise 2.0″ software for companies that includes blogging software (Typepad), a wiki (Socialtext), and RSS feed software (Simplefeed and Newsgator), called Suite Two. Is the microchip giant hoping that a little Web 2.0 pixie dust will get sprinkled on it, just like Level 3 seems to be? It’s obviously not in it to make any money, since it has already stated that it doesn’t intend to make any from the venture. So it must be hoping that companies will need to upgrade their machines to dual-core monsters to run all that Enterprise 2.0 gee-whizzery, right? Please. The whole point of these kinds of software is that they are lighter and more versatile – and cheaper – than traditional ways of doing business with employees and customers. So why would Intel want to bundle them up and charge an arm and a leg for them? More to the point, why would anyone go for that deal? The implication is that big companies are so slow-moving and dim-witted that they need the Intel name to get them comfortable with anything new, and are willing to pay through the nose for it. Unfortunately, that’s probably not far from the truth in a lot of cases. And meanwhile, Intel the plumber gets to look all cool by hanging with the hip Web 2.0 crowd. Comments Tag: Intel Add to Del.icio.us | Digg | Yahoo! My Web | Furl Bookmark WebProNews: View All Articles by Mathew Ingram Receive Our Daily Email of Breaking eBusiness News About the Author: Mathew Ingram [note only one “t” in Mathew] is a technology writer and blogger for the Globe and Mail, a national newspaper based in Toronto, and also writes about the Web and media at http://www.mathewingram.com/work and http://www.mathewingram.com/media. WebProNews RSS Feed More Blog Talk Articles Contact WebProNews […]

  5. […] I’ve been following reaction to this announcement in the blogosphere. Sentiments range from skeptical (Matthew Ingram wonders, “Is it just me, or is Intel desperate?”) to misguided (I read one post that I can’t find now, saying Intel was giving a boost to the open source movement, but none of these products are open source). Mostly, no one really knows what to think about it, because this is a paper/vapor release. […]

  6. I tend to look at these deals and ask — ok — how does this get to the customer. Now Intel OEM’s processors to PC manufacturers. So is this something were a trial package will come with every Intel (Dual Core) PC via the PC mfr? But PC mfrs like to make their own bundling deals.

    If not, are they getting into the retail software business? But they don’t have the channels for software distribution. And I can see distributors being slow to pick it up unless Intel hss done a not marketing blitz with Ingram, TechData, etc.

    Seems like one of those cases where they have run out of ideas on how to incrase hardware sales but then start grasping at strawa in an attemtp to associate their names with the “latest trend>’

    I simply say “Huh?”!!

  7. […] The new package from Intel, which is called Suite Two, emerged to mixed reviews from the blogosphere yesterday.Intel’s own Josh Bancroft wrote about the high cost of the software bundle, and cited all the wonderful free, open-source software out there that accomplishes the same goals. He also points out that the lack of open-source software in the bundle means that custom support will cost big bucks and users are completely at the mercy of the software developers when it comes to features.He also castigates the Suite Two website for not having an RSS feed, citing Robert Scoble’s post saying that anyone who launches a marketing website without an RSS feed should be fired.I get Bancroft’s concern about open-source software. I personally think that the open-source software movement rocks. I love that I can get advice and awesome plugins for my Firefox from a million different braniacs all over the world. But that’s not the way people do business. Intel critic Matthew Ingram wrote that the corporate crowd is so “slow-moving and dim-witted” that they need the Intel brand to get comfortable with anything new. I suppose that’s one way to look at it. But it’s not very apt.Most business types want to work with a recognized software firm they because they need to know who to call for support, and who to hold liable if software fails them. Also, lots of business people freak out when they’re offered something (great software) for nothing ($0). In business, it’s almost always sensible to assume that “if something is too good to be true, it usually is.” And sometimes, business people don’t want to be bothered with the geekery and know-how involved with going out there and finding cool software like WordPress Multi-User, MediaWiki and Feedburner. They’re busy. They want a comprehensive, packaged, one-stop software solution that offers everything they need to start leveraging emerging technologies right out of the box. That’s what they’re really paying for here. That doesn’t make them “dim-witted,” it makes them good business people. Instead of worrying about gaining expertise in a new area, they’re outsourcing it so that they can continue to focus on what they do best.Ingram also wonders whether Intel was getting desperate. He can’t wrap his brain around why they would bundle and sell software that they weren’t directly profiting from. He speculates that Intel is just trying to get some cool “Web 2.0 pixie dust” by associating themselves with the next-gen geeks.DL Byron, who is very tight with Movable Type manufacturer Six Apart, shed some light on that question for me. “Intel is an investor in Six Apart,” he explained, “that’s what people are missing.”Do I think there are some downsides to this bundle? Absolutely. Am I mostly optimistic about its impact on business blogging? You bet your sweet bippy. […]

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  10. I don’t think the point is to make money on these kinds of ventures. I think the point is to make money on the core products, by growing the overall market pie.

    Here is one depiction of the logic behind it all:
    – Web 2.0 ‘stuff’ engages more people than ever before.
    – Those people have to use computers to engage.
    – More computers = more Intel silicon needs.

    Enabling an industry with more ways to use your key products is a great way to run a business.

    Kudos to Intel.

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