Intel announced in an email to its Technology Provider Program members today that it will cease manufacturing motherboards for desktop computers soon. An exact date wasn't given, but in the email Intel stated:
For our 2013 business:
- We will continue to manufacture and stock our current desktop motherboard offerings through the end of the year. Our intention is to conduct business as usual, and you should not be impacted in your ability to purchase and sell Intel desktop motherboards.
- We will manufacture Intel motherboards to drive the launch and ramp of the 4th Generation Intel® Core Processor (Haswell) through the rest of the year.
- Our warranty commitments continue for any board we have sold and will sell. We are committed to quality and customer service, as stated in our Warranty Terms and Conditions.
It appears that Intel has decided to concentrate its efforts on its small form factor "Next Unit of Computing" (NUC) product line and its fairly new laptop computer motherboard business.
The email was signed by Steve Dallman, General Manager, Intel Reseller Channel Organization and Joel Christensen, Intel Client Board Division.
I'm saddened by this announcement - I've been buying Intel mainboards for my own desktop computers for several years now and attempt to supply them to my customers whenever possible. I feel that Intel motherboards are the highest quality available and are innovative and competitive at the price points where they are positioned.
BUT. Desktop computers are becoming a smaller portion of the personal computer market - notebook computers first outsold desktop computers in the US in 2005 and have been doing well ever since. People like the portability of a laptop and its drawbacks of smaller screen sizer and lesser performance are either a livable limitation or not as important given the speed of modern PCs.