Intel kicked off a two-day seminar in San Francisco Wednesday morning to promote the use of the Internet among businesses and to showcase its upcoming Itanium processor for servers and workstations.
Dubbed the Intel eXchange, the event brings together more than 60 hardware and software vendors that are showcasing applications for doing business over the Internet and other products in the areas of finance, manufacturing, retail and entertainment. Most of the applications are shown running on Intel-based servers, including prototype systems based on Intel's upcoming Itanium processor, its first 64-bit processor.
In a speech here this morning, Craig Barrett, Intel's president and CEO, talked about the need for IT companies to cooperate with each other in order for the so-called "e-business economy" to swiftly take shape. Economies of scale provided by Intel-based servers will be a cornerstone of the infrastructure that must be built to support the digital economy, he said.
The Santa Clara, California-based chip maker has lined up an impressive list of speakers for the event. On Wednesday, speakers will include Carly Fiorina, chairman, president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co., and John Thompson, a vice chairman with IBM Corp. Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corp., is due to speak Thursday morning, along with Andy Grove, Intel's chairman and cofounder.
Just as the PC heralded a new era of computing, so the Internet is ushering in a "new new computer industry" in which businesses will be able to provide customers with increasingly personalized levels of service, said Paul Otellini, executive vice president and general manager of the Intel architecture group.
Rather than focussing on individual productivity, the new era will focus on enterprise productivity and empowering customers, Otellini said.
(More to follow.)