Government // Mobile & Wireless
Commentary
9/9/2013
09:49 AM
Mike Feibus
Mike Feibus
Commentary
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Windows XP Procrastination Pays Off: Intel's Mobile Move

If you've waited to replace Windows XP systems, good news. This week brings the debut of a new class of fast, power-saving mobile systems based on Intel's enterprise-ready Haswell processors.

Most IT managers are well aware that they have barely 200 shopping days to replace the Windows XP systems in their fleets before Microsoft stops supporting the 12-year-old operating system. That's the bad news. The good news is that he who hesitated is not lost. The early bird did not get the worm. If you've waited this long, you'll be rewarded for waiting at least another couple of days because there's a truly great class of systems that starts to come available later this week.

All of the major OEMs will begin rolling out these systems on the heels of news from the Intel Developer Forum, which begins Tuesday in San Francisco, that Intel's enterprise-ready Haswell processors -- fourth-generation Core chips with built-in vPro, the company's security and manageability package -- are now available.

The newest Core processors boast an impressive jump in power management along with a corresponding bump in performance. What that enables are impressively thin, light systems capable of handling anything you might throw at them during a typical day. For many of these new systems, all of that comes without the need to plug them into the wall for the duration of the work day.

That newfound lift in both battery life and processing power has been widely reported since Intel's fourth-generation Core chips first came to market in June. What's new this week is that Intel is folding its enterprise-class vPro technology into the lineup. It's all the same security and manageability features that IT managers have come to expect, plus a few new ones.

[ Want more on Intel's moves into the low-power chip arena? See Intel Takes On ARM With Atom C2000. ]

The PC market has sagged recently because many consumers are turned off or confused by Windows 8. But IT managers aren't bogged down by that issue. They've got the Windows XP deadline hanging over their heads, and it's compelling them to buy new systems over the next seven months.

Being compelled to buy couldn't happen at a better time because of the banner crop of systems coming out. A couple of the new PCs have been disclosed ahead of Intel's official vPro-enabled processor announcement, though most of the major OEMs will start to unveil theirs later this week. Many of them are traditional clamshells, though designs are trending decisively toward touch-enabled systems as well as some innovative form factors. I've got my eye on an as-yet-unannounced detachable: a clamshell that lets you separate the screen from the keyboard so that in a pinch you can use it as a tablet.

Intel's added a few things to the vPro bundle, with a new twist. VPro's always been all about making IT's job easier. The new vPro makes life easier for the rest of us, too -- with features such as built-in security for VPN certification, so you no longer need to type in a certificate each time you connect to the corporate network. So far, that works with market leader Cisco's offerings. Intel says it plans to support other players as well.

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There's also location-based data embedded into the wireless stream, along with hooks for Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager, or SCCM, to find your PC. With that, IT can make it so that your system chooses whichever printer is closest to you at the moment, or homes in on the closest available conference room. That's a whole lot easier than scanning through all the corporate assets yourself. Thus far, the feature supports Cisco, Aruba and Aeroscout access points.

The new vPro bundle also includes an enterprise-class version of Intel's Wireless Display, or Wi-Di, technology. It enables you to quickly, easily and securely tie into the projector that's in the conference room you're using. Some newer projectors are compatible with the technology, though Wi-Di adapters can enable older projectors.

All of that's to say that, for this situation at least, the old axioms advocating quick action turned out to be bad advice. Waiting was the right choice. And now, finally, you only have to wait a little bit longer.

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Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
9/10/2013 | 3:22:42 PM
re: Windows XP Procrastination Pays Off: Intel's Mobile Move
"I've got my eye on an as-yet unannounced
detachable -- a clamshell that lets you separate the display from the
keyboard so that in a pinch you can use it as a tablet." This kind of functionality appeals to me as a user.
IT-security-gladiator
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IT-security-gladiator,
User Rank: Strategist
9/10/2013 | 4:58:40 PM
re: Windows XP Procrastination Pays Off: Intel's Mobile Move
Users still running Windows XP have a great solution available

I am an IT consultant and 4 out of 10 businesses have told me they cannot afford to upgrade from XP to Windows 7. They flatly refuse 8. So I found an excellent solution for them.

There is a commercial Linux OS called Robolinux that sandboxes Windows XP inside a custom one click 10 second virtual machine installer that is 100% immune to malware due to its extremely innovative Linux code. You can watch the video for proof on their website.

Thus no need for any XP security updates or even anti virus software.

So far I have installed hundreds of these RoboLinux operating systems. I have yet to hear one complaint. It runs all Window software natively and flawlessly with the exception of high end games and industrial Video editors.

This is an excellent solution to buy your company some time.
proberts551
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proberts551,
User Rank: Strategist
9/10/2013 | 6:36:39 PM
re: Windows XP Procrastination Pays Off: Intel's Mobile Move
I work for a fortune 500 company that just converted to Windows 7. It will not be likely that they will convert to Windows 8, until Windows 7 is decommissioned. The costs are high to convert a large enterprise, and Windows 8 is not even being considered from what I hear, unless it is mobile. Windows 7 rules the desktop.
MFeibus
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MFeibus,
User Rank: Strategist
9/10/2013 | 8:55:34 PM
re: Windows XP Procrastination Pays Off: Intel's Mobile Move
I absolutely agree. Most IT departments will migrate from XP to Windows 7, as you said. The enterprise, in general, views Windows 8 as little more than a development vehicle. So we won't see much impact on the pace of Win8 adoption The migration will help hardware vendors, though, because many of those XP systems will be replaced rather than upgraded.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
9/10/2013 | 8:59:06 PM
re: Windows XP Procrastination Pays Off: Intel's Mobile Move
I've had several conversations with analysts regarding whether Windows XP's retirement will spur hardware sales. For the most part, they (e.g. Forrester, Gartner) offer some variation on this generalization: the kind of company that is still on XP is probably not the kind of company that's in any hurry to invest in bleeding-edge hardware. Some places might initiate small mobility programs that will utilize Haswell-powered convertibles. The sub-5W Haswell chip that will power fanless computers and tablets is certainly interesting for workers who need to be both highly mobile and highly productive. But a lot of companies that are about to leave XP are going to keep milking old hardware for as long as they can. Dumping Windows 7 on a dying PC is just fine if it's just there for someone to read email and manage calendars. So I think these new devices - which are undeniably cool - will have only so much impact on the XP holdouts.

And I think Intel knows that. They talked about PCs at IDF today, but they spent most of the time talking about tablets (including lots about Android, not just Win 8), smartphones, wearable technology and the Internet of Things. In Intel's view, everything can be a computer; Intel's job is to make chips that fit in everything, and to convince people to follow the plan. I didn't get the impression Kranich was even trying to hype up PCs and notebooks so much as re-contextualize their importance to Intel's goals.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
9/11/2013 | 7:43:52 PM
re: Windows XP Procrastination Pays Off: Intel's Mobile Move
Look around hotels, retail stores and similar industry locales and you still see many people using Windows XP systems. The world of business is not just about tablets, much as we focus on them.
MFeibus
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MFeibus,
User Rank: Strategist
9/11/2013 | 9:29:36 PM
re: Windows XP Procrastination Pays Off: Intel's Mobile Move
I think we agree on a lot of the observations you make, Michael. We differ a bit on our conclusions, though.

You're right that Intel's been focusing on All-Things-Not-PC (and Server) at this year's IDF. But they'd be doing that even if they believed that IT would go out and replace every remaining XP system by the end of the month. Intel knows it needs to diversity, and a display like this is overdue.

IT hardware purchasing just doesn't have the highs and lows that characterize the consumer market. Business buyers don't rush out and buy the cool new stuff. Their purchases are driven more by replacement policies, hiring and turnover.

So the message I was trying to convey was this: if you've got budget to replace your XP machines, then you should give these new systems a serious look.

I agree that most of the XP PCs deployed probably aren't going to be replaced by the cool detachable I want. But 4th-gen Core with vPro is going to reach price points much lower than that - certainly before time runs out on XP in April.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
9/13/2013 | 5:36:04 AM
re: Windows XP Procrastination Pays Off: Intel's Mobile Move
Oh, I agree. I phrased my response a bit poorly. As you detected, one of my points was that the companies holding out on Windows XP aren't likely to invest in bleeding-edge Haswell detachables. My second point was that some of them aren't just unlikely to buy tablets; they're unlikely to buy anything, at least if their XP hardware is capable of a couple more years. Upgrading to Windows 7 doesn't necessary mean buying new machines, in other words. But I agree that Windows XP's retirement will still spur hardware sales, and that the Haswell/vPro options will be plentiful and cheap enough for many businesses to upgrade. The new mobile devices are the flashiest-- but you're right: Intel's new chips offer value up and down the line.
James Godwin
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James Godwin,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/11/2013 | 9:42:21 AM
re: Windows XP Procrastination Pays Off: Intel's Mobile Move
How do you transfer your programs?
Only thing I heard on this is something called Zinstall, but I haven't tried it myself.
Heard it's very effective, though.
EVVJSK
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EVVJSK,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/11/2013 | 1:43:17 PM
re: Windows XP Procrastination Pays Off: Intel's Mobile Move
Many companies are still stuck on older Software (although it is probably better now that 2 or 3 years ago when Windows 7 was new). If Intel is serious about stemming the tide of ARM and tablets, they will have to be aggressive on pricing. Not too many folks willing to shell out $1000 plus for a large corporation. Hard to justify.
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