What's Intel up to with VIIV?

by Doc Searls

At the beginning of his CES keynote, where I'm sitting now, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said "We expect a wifi connection at the coffee shop, and we're disappointed when we dont get it." Well, the same goes for the CEO keynotes at trade shows. And there's no wi-fi here. But I have a bluetooth bridge to the net through my cell phone, so these are my public notes about the keynote, live — or as close as my typing can get to it. If I'm the only one reporting "Viiv live" here (pun intended), I've got a scoop in progress.

Okay, so... First, Intel actually introduced two new CPUs here. The first is its Core Duo, a dual-core for general and countless purposes. It's main virtues are low power consumption, and mutiple process execution. The other is the much-awaited VIIV ("vive" as in "vibe"). [Later note: A reader in the comments below points out that Viiv is a platform for entertainment PCs, much as Centrino is a platform for mobile computing. It includes a processor, but is not itself a processor. The two new processors are Core Solo and Core Duo.]

Some of us (myself included) have been concerned about the DRM capabilities reportedly built into ViiV, but in his presentation Otellini made clear that Viiv has been in development with Microsoft, as a new Wintel platform for home entertainment that comprises the next generation of Microsoft's home media offering.

There are 110 OEMs already. "The end of TV as you know it", "all served up over the internet".

There's a kieretsu of sorts here. DirecTV, for example. AOL. NBC,

It's being presented as the Complete Replacement for TV.

"A chance for broadcasters and rights-holders to extend their franchise".

"More choices for us as consumers. And more choices for content-makers".

"Premium films to the home, over the Internet".

What about non-OEMs? Good luck. This is a juggernaunt.

I'll post this now, and add more later.


"A chance for broadcasters and rights-holders to extend their franchise".

"More choices for us as consumers. And more choices for content-makers".

"Premium films to the home, over the Internet".

Clickstar. New company bought by Intel. Delivering Hollywood goods. Very loudly.

They just brought out Morgan Freeman and an executive of some sort. Morgan is reading from the prompter. Sad.

He's introducing danny devito, tom hanks, others. Lordy. Will they be ;'prompt3ed as well? Not hanks. "

"{We've been waiting backstage for three hours..."

DiVito: "Clickstar will give us the opportunity..."

One speaker is the director of Bruce Almighty, in which Morgan played God.

"Excited about ideas..."

"the idea of the tranlation of ideas to people"

When will they talk about DRM? It's THE topic.

Hanks is tlaking. Looking and sounding great. Danny DiVito gets a phone call.
DiVito and hanks are comics, and it's working. Dammit.

DiVito looks even shorter in real life.

"the future is here in the form of clickstar"

"might not be seen in any other venue"

A film released in theaters and in broadband. "Ten items or less" is it.


Okay, it's over.

This is an Intel-Microsoft story. All about Windows Media, but barely mentioning it. I think that's because the OEM that matters to Intel most here is the one company that would never allow itself to be smeared with the OEM label: Apple.

I'm sure Apple will use ViiV too. Although they might use Core Duo. Of course, we don't know right now. But I'm betting they'll use ViiV, because it's the dual-core processor with DRM features. And Apple needs to truck with Hollywood, and leapfrog those 110 OEMs with something slicker and cooler and all that.

Since Michael Dell (yep, he did a turn on stage too) showed off a huge 20-inch laptop, I'm betting Apple introduces one too.

Missing: hand-held stuff. That's Apple's territory now. Expect shoes to drop there too, at Steve Jobs' keynote next week.

Meanwhile, Linux is, naturally, nowhere.

Or, everywhere.

I think the new sweet spot in the market is in the open, non-DRM'd part — the part that's non-Microsoft and non-Apple, even if it's still Intel Inside.

Think about this. The best screens you can get in the next year will be 1080p full-HD displays. And the best source of "content" (man, I hate that word) for those screens will be high-definition camcorders. Fiber to the home is still a rarity, and even high-def digital cable and satellite aren't due to deliver 1080-grade resolution. Meaning the best source of the best-looking stuff will be: ourselves.

Once again, the demand side will supply itself. Mostly without DRM or any of that other use-throttling jive. Open will win where it matters.

Or so I hope.

Load Disqus comments