Intel hands the channel another reason to talk about upgrades

Following on from the launch of Windows 10 Intel has launched the first of its Skylake processors encouraging those using old PCs to splash out on something new

Intel has added another reason for users to upgrade with the launch of the first of its Skylake processor family providing resellers already pitching Windows 10 with another angle to encourage user investment.

The benefits of processors based on the Skylake architecture include reduced power consumption, longer battery life as well as options to use it for a wide range of products from a USB stick right through to desktops and workstations.

The other main selling point of the 6th generation Core processor is that it has been "optimised to best run Windows 10", which should be a further prod to get users to upgrade.

Intel believes that there are more than 500m computers globally that are four to five years old or even older just waiting for a refresh.

"They are slow to wake, their batteries don't last long, and they can't take advantage of all the new experiences available today," stated the firm.

This is a major release from Intel, which is trying to regain some of the ground that it lost as users flocked to mobile devices that didn't use its chips and it is describing the launch as delivering "some of the most significant advancements in computing that we've ever seen".

Intel watchers should be fairly busy over the next few months as Intel churns out more than 48 processors in the 6th Gen Core processor family. From a business market point of view the ones to look out for are the vPro processors but there will also be a focus on the Internet of Things, with 25 products aiming to cover off that area.

Kirk Skaugen, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group, said that there were a host of reasons why people would want to upgrade.

"New 6th Gen Intel Core-based systems are more responsive than ever with enhanced performance, battery life and security. And they can enable amazing new PC experiences like logging into your computer with your face and having a personal assistant respond to your voice," he said.

"The combination of 6th Gen Intel Core processors, Windows 10 and beautiful new systems from PC manufacturers make this the best time ever to buy a new computer," he added.

Many in the channel will be hoping that the last point is a view widely shared by customers as the key Q4 selling period gets closer.

The 6th Gen family

The 6th Gen Intel Core processor family and Intel Xeon processors for mobile workstations will include 48 new processors:
Five 4.5W Intel Core Y-series processors for small-screen 2 in 1 detachables and 2 in 1 convertibles.
Ten 15W and four 28W Intel Core U-series processors for 2 in 1 convertibles and ultra-thin clamshells.
Six 45W Intel Core H-series processors for thin clamshells and large-screen notebooks.
One 45W Intel Core H-series unlocked mobile K SKU for enthusiast notebooks.
Two 45W Intel Xeon processors for mobile workstations.
Ten 65W and eight 35W Intel Core S-series processors for gaming towers, stationary All-in-Ones,
and mini PCs.
Two 91W desktop Intel Core S-series processors for overclockers and gaming enthusiasts.

In the month and a bit since Windows 10 was launched Microsoft’s corporate VP of marketing for Windows, Yusuf Mehdi, revealed in tweets last week that the OS was now installed on more than 75m devices, which makes it the fastest growing version of Windows in history.

The link between Windows downloads and hardware sales is not quite one to one and even the leading analyst houses are expecting a lag before a correlation can be seen between the launch of the OS and changing PC market fortunes.

One of the slight issues is the time it will take for some of the flashy new products using not only Windows 10 but extras like Skylake to come to market.

Most of the major vendors are gearing up releases to hit Q4 and that should make a difference but it might be 2016 that benefits from a real lift.

In the meantime both Intel and Microsoft have given the channel reasons to talk to customers about hardware refreshes and to target those using some of those 500m plus old machines.

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