What Does Intel's Andy Grove Have Against WiFi?

JoMama writes “Intel’s Andy Grove recently went on record, saying that WiFi wireless technology is “messy.” He also stated that he doesn’t think that there is any one wireless standard that shows signs of dominating the industry…(This despite Wifi’s already-rapid adoption rate.) Some have hypothesized that WiFi will lead to wireless distributed computing, which has the potential to offset Intel’s leadership in the desktop processor biz. (Keep in mind that WiFi is governed by a standards body of which Intel is not a part.) The Intel cofounder’s unfounded protest suggests that the company is suffering from the “not invented here syndrome. Oscast put out a broadcast editorial (MPEG4 required) which analyzes Mr. Grove’s comments and hypothesizes what his ulterior motives might be.”

Techdirt’s response: First off, I haven’t been able to listen to this “editorial” even though I clearly have the required software (and I know a thing or two about how to get things to work online), so I can’t comment on what’s said in the actual audio broadcast (note to Oscast: (1) look at a calendar – there is no Monday, March 19, 2003 and (2) make your audio broadcasts easier to listen to). Just from the summary, though, I’m extremely skeptical. I worked at Intel. I know plenty of people who worked and still work at Intel. Intel is a place that rarely suffers from a NIH syndrome. They don’t care where something was invented, they just want to figure out how to take advantage of anything new to help them sell more chips – and WiFi certainly helps. Above all, Andy Grove is one of the least likely people I could think of who would ever have a problem with WiFi because it wasn’t invented at Intel. Intel has been a huge supporter of WiFi, and it sounds like the folks at Oscast are taking Grove’s comments completely out of context. WiFi is “messy”. I don’t think anyone denies that. WiFi doesn’t dominate the “wireless” industry. Right now, no standard does. WiFi may dominate the WLAN market, but that’s different. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with WiFi – and, in fact, folks at Intel appear to strongly believe the opposite conclusion of this summary. WiFi is a huge opportunity for them – and is helping them sell more chips.

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