On Wednesday Paul published a nice recap and welcome dose of perspective about the recent wave of hype that was ushered in over the past week around Intel’s renewed living room initiatives.
I’ve been surprised by the excitement over Intel’s possible entrance into the market, particularly given its past efforts in the consumer space (which I wrote about on Monday). My skepticism isn’t based entirely on the fact that it’s Intel, which has proved to be historically tone deaf in the difficult consumer media and digital living room market (though that’s part of it). I’m also skeptical because this market is one of the most difficult to break into, particularly with grand visions of the type Intel seems to have in mind.
Consider all the names of companies who have, at some point, been interested in creating the living room holy grail of hardware and associated TV services: Microsoft, Apple, Google, Sony, Boxee, Roku, Motorola, Philips, Nintendo, Samsung, LG, Yahoo, and so on. It’s a veritable who’s who of the world’s technology elite, and I’m not even including the hundreds of startups who have tried and largely failed.
It’s not that Intel can’t succeed; it certainly has enough resources and is one of those companies that can build a potential coalition of partners to try to give it a good run. However, Intel creating its own end-user product and associated over-the-top service isn’t the first thing I’d expect from it. The company has been trying to diversify from its PC roots for years now, with mobile being the most visible of all the efforts, and this move shows it is interested in diving more deeply into consumer end-user hardware, software, and services.
While I’m not confident it will have a whole lot of success, I’m certainly excited to watch it try.