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For more than 20 years, Intel has sold desktop motherboards, but that will soon come to an end. The company has announced that it will shut down that side of its business over the next three years.
AnandTech's Anand Lal Shimpi reported, "Today Intel made a sobering, but not entirely unexpected announcement: over the next 3 years Intel will be ramping down its own desktop motherboard business. Intel will continue to supply desktop chipsets for use by 3rd party motherboard manufacturers like ASUS, ASRock and Gigabyte, but after 2013 it will no longer produce and sell its own desktop mITX/mATX/ATX designs in the channel. We will see Haswell motherboards from the group, but that will be the last official hurrah. Intel will stop developing desktop motherboards once the Haswell launch is completed."
PCWorld's Lloyd Case observed, "Intel's move responds to market pressures from two directions. On one side, the world simply doesn't need as many desktop motherboards as it has in the past. Demand is shifting to laptops and tablets, so Intel is responding to changing times. On the other side, companies like Asus, Gigabyte and Asrock are meeting existing demand with a wide variety of motherboard products with innovative features. Even worse, the feature sets offered by Intel motherboards often haven't kept pace with the offerings from Asian companies, begging the question, Why even buy an Intel board in the first place?"
According to the Inquirer's Lawrence Latif, "Although Intel's PC desktop motherboard team will cease to exist in its present form, the firm said its x86 workstation and server motherboards are designed by a separate team that will remain unchanged. Intel told the The INQUIRER that it will focus more on its Next Unit of Computing initiative and will still work on x86 motherboard reference designs for OEM partners. The firm will also continue to design motherboards for its ultrabook laptop designs and all-in-one desktop systems."
PCMag's Joel Santo Domingo commented, "What does this mean in the long term? Well, if you're a DIY PC guy, system builder, or IT pro that builds desktops for your business with Intel branded motherboards, you'll need to find another motherboard supplier, of which there are legion. If you're a desktop PC buyer, carry on as usual: this change won't affect you all that much, if at all."