订阅

多平台阅读

微信订阅

杂志

申请纸刊赠阅

订阅每日电邮

移动应用

技术

2012,“微特尔”变革之年

Michal Lev-Ram 2012年02月03日

英特尔和微软曾开创了个人计算机时代。而如今,个人计算机已不再是行业创新与增长的主要引擎,在这个大背景下,两大巨头正实施大刀阔斧的改革,再造自我。

    当下,微软(Microsoft)和英特尔(Intel)仍然算得上是摇钱树——本月公布的季报中,两家公司营收分别为209亿美元和139亿美元。但是,由于对台式机和笔记本电脑的过度依赖,它们的核心业务正面临着日益严峻的威胁。研究公司高德纳(Gartner)近期公布的数据显示,2011年第四季度,全球PC出货量下降了1.4%。越来越多的消费者选择智能手机和平板电脑作为主要上网工具,现在看来,(即使计算机行业摆脱了泰国洪灾和欧洲金融动荡的影响,)这种趋势也不太可能改变。

    高德纳公司首席分析师米卡科•可塔加瓦在近期发表的一篇文章中指出:“虽然西欧的经济不确定性对PC出货量产生了不利影响,但是北美地区较为光明的经济前景展望也并未使PC在北美的需求量增加。健康的专业版PC市场和新兴市场的增长无法弥补成熟市场的增长乏力,因此导致市场整体出现了负增长。”

    当然,微软和英特尔不会坐以待毙。2012年,它们将积极地进军智能手机、平板电脑和云技术等快速增长的领域。微软计划于二月末发布Windows 8操作系统。它优化了在平板电脑上的操作体验,并将触摸屏作为操作中心。另外,微软还将继续在市场上推进基于云技术的服务,如Office 365,从而与谷歌(Google)等竞争对手抗衡。本月初,芯片制造商英特尔宣布,搭载Medfield处理器的手机最终将与中国消费者见面,并将在未来几个月内推出更多的产品。

    那么,微软和英特尔最终能如愿以偿吗?微软的Windows 8操作系统是迈向成功的一步,而搭载英特尔Medfield处理器的手机也是好评如潮。但是,技术一流只是成功的一个砝码——在后PC时代,一切都与生态系统相关。这就意味着微软和英特尔需要把制造商、运营商、开发商乃至消费者全部拉进来。

    当然,微软和英特尔的现有业务中也有不少亮点。虽然自去年起,微软的Windows操作系统业务有所下滑,但是其Xbox unit销售额却达到了42.4亿美元,超出分析师预期的42亿美元。另外,主要得益于在新兴市场的销售,英特尔的PC业务仍处于增长通道之中——年度同比增长了17%。

    英特尔CEO保罗•欧德宁在周三发布的一份新闻通稿中称:“现在,新兴市场的PC需求量占到PC需求增长的三分之二,这种转变使长期深深扎根在新兴市场的英特尔及其他PC公司受益良多。”

    微软和因特尔又被称为“微特尔联盟(WinTel)”。未来一年,这两大巨头将实施大刀阔斧的变革。虽然我们现在所处的时代还不能被称为后PC时代,但是,向移动设备的转变——更不必说从企业预置(on-premise)软件到基于云技术软件的转变——将远远快于两个公司的预期。因此,虽然第四季度财报业绩依然抢眼,但是二者能否取得长远的成功,还要看它们能否跟得上整个行业的变革。

    译者:乔树静/汪皓

    Both Microsoft and Intel are still money-making machines--they raked in $20.9 billion and $13.9 billion, respectively, in quarterly earnings announced on Wednesday. But their core businesses are increasingly under threat because they're largely dependent on demand for desktops and laptops. According to recent numbers from research firm Gartner, global PC shipments declined 1.4% in the last quarter of 2011. As more and more people use smartphones and tablets as their primary access to the Internet, that trend isn't likely to change (even after the industry recovers from the effects of the flooding in Thailand and financial shakiness in Europe).

    "While economic uncertainty in Western Europe had an effect on consumer PC shipments, expectations of a healthier economic outlook in North America could not stimulate consumer PC demand in that region," Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, wrote in a recent release. "The healthy professional PC market as well as growth in emerging markets could not compensate for the weaknesses in mature markets, with overall growth still negative."

    Of course, Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC) aren't sitting still. This year, you'll see both companies make an aggressive push into fast-growing businesses like smartphones, tablets and the cloud. Microsoft is expected to launch its tablet-optimized, touch-centric Windows 8 operating system in late February, and will continue to push cloud-based services like Office 365 into the market to compete with the likes of Google (GOOG). As for Intel, earlier this month the chipmaker announced that a phone powered by its Medfield processor would finally come to market in China, and more devices are expected to be unveiled in the coming months.

    So will they succeed? Microsoft's Windows 8 is a step in the right direction, and a prototype phone running on Intel's Medfield processor has gotten good performance reviews. But technology prowess alone won't win the game--in the post-PC era, it's all about ecosystems. That means both companies will need to get manufacturers, carriers, developers and ultimately consumers to jump on board.

    To be sure, there are also plenty of bright spots in Microsoft and Intel's current businesses. While Microsoft's Windows business was down from last year, its Xbox unit posted sales of $4.24 billion, topping analysts' projection of $4.2 billion. And, largely due to sales in emerging markets, Intel's PC business is still growing--it rose 17% year-over-year.

    "Emerging markets now account for two out of every three incremental units of PC demand, a shift that is rewarding Intel and the PC companies that have a long-standing, deep presence in these markets," Intel CEO Paul Otellini said in a press release issued on Wednesday.

    But the coming year will be one of major transitions for the powerhouses formerly known as WinTel. Even if we're not living in a post-PC era quite yet, the shift to mobile devices--not to mention the shift from on-premise to cloud-based software--is happening much faster than either company was prepared for. So it's clear that, despite both companies' impressive quarterly numbers, their long-term success relies on their ability to change along with the rest of the industry.

我来点评

  最新文章

最新文章:

500强情报中心

财富专栏