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Alex St.John shares his business war story from Microsoft's past:
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http://www.alexstjohn.com/WP/2017/06/10/the-age-of-nvidia/
I worked for the team at Microsoft that was responsible for “positioning” Microsoft strategically against competitive threats in the market called DRG (Developer Relations Group). Intel had requested that Microsoft send a “representative” to speak at their launch event for 3DR.
As DRG’s resident graphics and 3D expert I was sent on Microsoft’s behalf with the specific mission of evaluating the threat that Intel’s new initiative represented to Microsoft and formulating an effective counter-strategy.
My assessment was that Intel was indeed attempting to virtualize Windows by software emulating all possible competitive external processing.
I wrote a proposal called “Taking Fun Seriously” that suggested that the way to prevent Intel from making Windows “dispensable” was to create a competitive consumer marketplace for new hardware capabilities. The idea was to create a new suite of Windows drivers that enabled massive competition in the hardware market to enable new audio, input, video, networking and other media capabilities that would all depend on proprietary Windows drivers to work across a new market we would create for PC based video games. Intel would not be able to keep up with the free market competition we created among consumer hardware companies and therefore never be able to create a CPU that could effectively virtualize all of the functionality consumers demanded.
Thus DirectX was born.
... our “evil scheme” was wildly successful. Microsoft realized that the way to dominate the consumer market and keep Intel at bay was by focusing on video games and dozens of 3D video chip makers were born.
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Though I suspect that if Microsoft just supported OpenGL and other platforms - that should have been enough to "keep Intel at bay".

Alex St.John continues:
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This brings us to today, 2017, the year GPU’s finally begin to permanently displace the venerated x86 based CPU. Why now and why GPU’s? The secret to the x86 hegemony has been Windows and backwards compatibility of the x86 instruction set all the way to the 1970’s. Intel has been able to maintain and grow it’s enterprise Monopoly because the cost of porting applications to any other CPU instruction set with no market share is prohibitive. The phenomenal body of functionality enabled by the Windows OS and tied to the x86 platform has further entrenched Intel’s market position.
The beginning of the end for Intel began when Microsoft AND Intel both failed to make the leap to also dominating the emerging mobile computing market.
...
Why did Microsoft and Intel fail to make the leap? There are a lot of interesting reasons but for the purpose of this article the one I would like to highlight is the baggage of X86 backwards compatibility. For the first time power efficiency became more important to the success of a CPU than speed. All of the transistors and all of the millions of lines of x86 code that Intel and Microsoft had invested in the PC became an obstacle to power efficiency. The most important aspect of Microsoft and Intel’s market hegemony became a liability over night.

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What do you think - would NVidia's GPU actually replace Intel's CPU?

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Dennis Gorelik

July 2017

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