by Jean-Louis Gassée

The Wintel alliance, Windows and Office running on Intel x86 processors, enjoyed its dominant position for more than three decades. Today, ARM processors have shuffled the deck, presenting serious challenges to Intel’s new CEO.

Two weeks ago, we looked at the history and culture Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has inherited. After ascending to become Intel’s first CTO, Gelsinger left the company in 2009, and now returns to undo the damage that was wreaked by his three predecessors.

Last week, we outlined the depth, breadth, and ambition of the new CEO’s goals for his second Intel life. At first we were skeptical, but after a closer examination of Gelsinger’s unusual combination of intellectual, psychic, physical, and spiritual energy, we were drawn to an optimistic conclusion: the Intel 2.0 …

by Jean-Louis Gassée

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger possesses a wide range of unusual skills grounded in a strong cultural background. He’ll need all of it as he confronts the challenge of renewing the company’s design and manufacturing processes and business model.

Last week, we looked at Intel’s recent history, from the misguided decision to reject Apple’s iPhone overtures, through the messy and avoidable layoffs and even messier executive melodrama, and on to the mishandling of everything ARM. This is the history and culture that has been bequeathed to Pat Gelsinger, Intel’s newly (re)hired CEO

With the company’s history in mind, Gelsinger’s daring March 23 declaration, “Engineering the Future”, isn’t just an ambitious outline of “Intel 2.0”. In his video keynote, Gelsinger has promised a restoration of Intel’s glory days:

“We’re bringing back the execution discipline of Intel. I…

On March 23rd, Pat Gelsinger, Intel’s new and rehired CEO, made broad, ambitious declarations for his strategies to reboot the troubled company. This leads many, yours truly included, to hope he will do for Intel what Jobs did for Apple when he returned in 1997.

Courtesy: Intel

Thinking of context for an analysis of Gelsinger’s Intel 2.0 presentation, I googled “Monday Note Intel” and got back 12 articles, starting in June 2010. I found them fun to re-read, especially the older ones, and hope they will do the same for you as they provide a helpful background for the history and culture the company’s new leader inherits.
The Notes, in chronological order, are presented with extracts destined to whet your appetite and lead you to click on the links that arouse your interest the most.

This will set a frame of reference for next week’s attempt to…

by Jean-Louis Gassée

Today, we indulge in a bit of kremlinology as we parse the multiple meanings of Qualcomm’s move to strengthen its portfolio of ARM-related technologies by acquiring NUVIA, a company started by Apple alumni.

Founded in 2019, NUVIA positioned itself as an ARM-based designer of server CPU chips. The company’s executive bio page makes the endeavor sound like an unintentional spinoff from Apple.

  • CEO Gerard Williams III “was a Senior Director at Apple and Chief CPU Architect for nearly a decade with responsibilities for a range of leading-edge CPUs and SoCs across a broad array of devices.”
  • Co-founder…

by Jean-Louis Gassée

Apple has avoided the types of failures that have beset so many tech giants. From the HP I dearly loved and the IBM we once feared, to Palm, Nokia, Blackberry, and many more… Will Apple eventually follow a similar trajectory and either disappear or recede into the shadows? Or can Tim Cook continue to keep the Steve Jobs Apple 2.0 miracle alive almost a decade after the magician’s passing?

The Monday Note has been on an irregular hiatus as I labor on a book chronicling my picaresque half century in the tech world. While I only spent ten of those years inside Apple, gravity exerts its pull and the book sometimes feels centered on the company that allowed me to fulfill two dreams: Coming to the US and leading a product engineering organization.

Writing about the early days at Apple led me to contemplate how the ambitious but struggling company became today’s $2T enterprise, how it avoided the “failure formulas” we’ve seen in so many grandees…

by Jean-Louis Gassée

The Apple Car speculation continues. This week we run through the possibilities — without much success. But Apple execs get a potentially helpful glimpse of a potential partner’s strong culture.

Two weeks is a long time. The January 23rd Monday Note wondered: Sure, the first Apple Car (a.k.a. Project Titan) rumors started in 2014, but a project doesn’t always turn into a product. For all we know, Apple scouts may have made several R&D expeditions into auto industry territory and returned with the Here Be Dragons shakes.

This time it’s different, the rumors are more colorful and detailed. We hear that on February 17th, Apple will announce their $3.6B investment in Kia for a car that will ship in 2024. …

by Jean-Louis Gassée

Here we go again: Apple is rumored to build an electric and, hopefully, electrifying car. Are the rumors founded? If so, will Apple create a better Tesla or something else entirely?

According to the “official” Wikipedia chronicle, Apple Car rumors first appeared in late 2014. Since then, like a flu virus, the rumor mutates and reemerges every season. The most recent strain says that Hyundai/Kia will be the manufacturing partner with prototypes appearing in 2022 — or maybe 2024 — with production models by 2026 or 2028. We know that there’s large-scale development work on one or more car projects inside Apple Park and other Valley locations, that the company is hiring experts from Tesla and other auto industry leaders. …

by Jean-Louis Gassée

Trump failed to get reelected last November and has been hard at work on a 2024 comeback. Last week’s desecration of the Capitol put that plan in jeopardy. But a (highly speculative) look at Trump’s handling of the pandemic shows he could have been easily reelected.

Trump: Job One, a November 2016 Monday Note, was an extrapolation of what we had learned about the just-elected President troubled relationship with facts and his pathological repulsion to losing. Just elected, Trump had to make sure that, four years down the road, he wouldn’t be ignominiously fired like a washout candidate on The Apprentice.

The extrapolation proved correct. As we know, until the very end, against recounts and unsuccessful lawsuits, Trump stayed in character, calling the election rigged and insisting he had actually won a second term. …

by Jean-Louis Gassée

Another year opens, rich with possibilities. Today, from occasional forays into politics to safer explorations of high-tech developments, we survey some of the more salient topics ahead of us.

From this Quiet Before The Storm weekend, as I look forward to a new year of Monday Notes, a long list of topics unfolds. First and foremost, I hope we’ll all get vaccinated as quickly as possible — and I can’t repress a perhaps impolitic thought involving vaccine logistics and Jeff Bezos… Hearing of the difficulties in distributing the two new vaccines, I fantasize about a mutually beneficial…

by Jean-Louis Gassée

Today, an unstructured, sentimental reminiscence and acknowledgment of my debt to Apple. A company that, warts and all, was gratifying to have worked for and continues to be enjoyable to watch.

I joined Apple 40 years ago on the day of the company’s IPO, December 12, 1980. As I signed my employment agreement in Geneva I was elated, ready, and relieved.

The relief stemmed from leaving my previous employer, Exxon Office Systems, a moribund and culture-deaf attempt at diversification dreamed up for the oil giant by the Boston Consulting Group. By contrast, Apple was lively and aware. …

Jean-Louis Gassée

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