Companies to watch

Channel Middle East takes a look at companies that it believes will help keep things alive in the regional channel in 2013.

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Companies to watch Otellini is set to retire in May 2013, after spending 40 years at Intel.
By  Manda Banda Published  January 26, 2013

Channel Middle East takes a look at companies that it believes will help keep things alive in the regional channel in 2013.

Many in the Middle East IT channel community are delighted to have closed the door on 2012, a year that was characterised by tightened budgets, long sales cycles and uncertainty in the market, inventory challenges and stagnating PC sales. Channel Middle East was right there to bring you all these events that shaped 2012.

As regional partners begin 2013, Channel Middle East looks at companies worth watching this year. Some on the list are already poised to provide huge growth and business opportunities for their channel partners across the region. Others are in the spotlight because they have something to prove or challenges to overcome. Eitherway, these companies are the notables that will help keep things interesting in 2013.

INTEL

Few companies have dominated their industry over the last decade like Intel has. As Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini is set to retire in May 2013, leaving the chip-maker’s crucial transition to the mobile market in the hands of an unnamed successor, solution providers are worried that the successor may have big shoes to fill, especially if he is tapped from outside the company as Intel has hinted.

Otellini has already helped Intel carve a space for itself, even if it’s a space that is overshadowed by rival chip-maker ARM in the lucrative smartphone and tablet markets. The chip market is changing rapidly and Intel is being affected by it, with the transition to mobile and the dominance of ARM chips in phones and tablets. In the mobile sector, Intel faces an uphill battle against UK-based chip licensor ARM, whose low-power architectures are used to power over 90% of today’s smartphones and tablets.

Still, during Otellini’s eight years at the helm, Intel has started to fight for a slice of that share with its Atom Medfield and Clover Trail processors for smartphones and tablets, the latter of which has already nabbed over 20 tablet and convertible PC design wins with OEMs including Lenovo and Dell.

Maintaining this momentum must be a priority for Intel’s new CEO, partners believe, as tablet and smartphone adoption soars, and worldwide PC sales continue to stall. It will be really interesting to see who Intel selects to succeed Otellini come May this year.

MICROSOFT

With Microsoft Windows 8 here, after three years in the making and more than a year in beta testing, partners want to get their hands on the devices, technology and opportunity that this latest OS release brings to their business.

For a surprising many, it will finally be time to migrate from Windows XP, the OS introduced 12-years ago that unbelievably still runs more than one-third of the world’s desktop PCs. It is interesting to point out that on April 8, 2014, Microsoft will end all support for Windows XP and that will compel millions to choose between Windows 7 and Windows 8.

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