Intel Quarterly Earnings: Ultrabook, ARM, Windows 8 Clues
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is expected to announce Q2 2012 results on July 17. Intel’s Q2 profits and revenues (and the company’s longer-term business forecast) could give channel partners new clues about how to potentially prepare for Windows 8, Ultrabooks and other emerging markets. And don’t overlook what Intel CEO Paul Otellini does (and doesn’t) say about potential with ARM Holdings (NASDAQ: ARMH), the mobile processor company.
Intel faces some key challenges. Q2 PC sales were essentially flat, Gartner recently stated. Plus, Intel rival AMD recently pre-announced weak Q2 results. (AMD will disclose finalized results on July 19.)
Amid that backdrop, Intel must:
- Innovate to drive more PC sales (example: Ultrabooks, which compete with Apple MacBook Air);
- shift PC buyers to more expensive hardware (here again, Ultrabooks);
- accelerate the convergence of hardware and security software, leveraging McAfee; and
- expand into new markets — competing more fiercely against rivals like ARM. But there are rumors that some PC makers may shift some desktop and server business toward ARM.
Intel, Microsoft and Windows 8
Meanwhile, Intel must also set expectations for Microsoft’s Windows 8 launch in October 2012. The new Windows 8, coupled with Office 15, provide a potentially large upgrade cycle for Intel and its channel partners.
And don’t forget about Windows Server 12, coming in September. That upgrade could drive new server, data center and cloud processor sales.
Still, all those product refreshes also reveal new challenges for Intel. A prime example: Microsoft is killing Windows Small Business Server (SBS), the latest clue that Intel and other partners can expect small businesses to increasingly shift on-premises email to the cloud.
So what’s the bottom line for Intel partners? Numerous answers will surface during the July 17 earnings call. The VAR Guy will be back to offer his insights.