Intel Corp. has set the pace in the microprocessor industry, cranking out chips that operate at breakneck computing speeds. So when the company, under the direction of CEO Craig Barrett, began steering away from its speed-fiend image and toward multicore and partitioned designs, people took notice.
For some, it was inevitable, as Intel had been enduring a string of missteps including the unceremonious cancellation of its 4-GHz Pentium "Prescott" chip this month. It was as if the Santa Clara, Calif., company had overestimated its market clout and its ability to understand the needs of its IT users. With just six months left before he is scheduled to cede the CEO position to Intel president and chief operating officer Paul Otellini, Barrett said the company is heading in the right direction.