With the quiet demise of the Intel Developer Forum, the computing world has lost one its biggest red-letter days.
In a short statement, Intel announced on its website the following:
“Intel has evolved its event portfolio and decided to retire the IDF program moving forward. Thank you for nearly 20 great years with the Intel Developer Forum! Intel has a number of resources available on intel.com, including a Resource and Design Center with documentation, software, and tools for designers, engineers, and developers. As always, our customers, partners, and developers should reach out to their Intel representative with questions.”
IDF was an event where the world’s largest silicon maker would tell the assembled throng how things were going to be over the next year and years. Not always, but usually, it was right. Intel, often working in lockstep with Microsoft, had the vision, the power, the money, the industry muscle, the fabrication facilities and the people to define the future from microprocessors to networking to mobile devices and beyond. IDF was the venue when it unwrapped its plans and hailed the tools and technologies that would take us somewhere new. It was a celebration of technology and of Silicon Valley nous.
But Intel, as I have argued before, is a company going through changes and it defines itself today as a data-centric company rather than a hardware outfit. It clearly doesn’t see the need to host the chip geeks’ biggest confab.
IDF was always densely forested with codenames but it was the event where journalists, analysts, industry types, coders and others could gain a glimpse of how some of Intel’s smartest people were thinking. It wasn’t all plain sailing: despite its dominance of the PC age Intel missed the boat several times on smartphones. Intel was always the most combative of companies and often at IDF there were spiky exchanges about the progress (or otherwise) of efforts such as the Itanium server processor or other matters. But then there were always cocktail parties attached where it was possible to talk sensibly, and even have fun with, some of the biggest power brokers in the Valley.
But for all those who admired the brilliance of Intel’s engineers and recognised the importance of Intel in powering much of the modern world, IDF, whether you could make it there or not, will be missed.
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