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Intel Hardware

Intel Dropping Pentium Brand 364

Devistater writes "After changing their logo from 'Intel Inside' to 'Leap Ahead,' (and attempting to explain why 2006 is a leap year), Intel has now decided to drop the Pentium brand. Instead of an 'Intel Pentium 4 Dual core' you will be now be purchasing an 'Intel D 840.' You can see the intial steps of this move on Dell's desktop lineup. On the heels of the news of AMD outselling Intel in Desktop Retail sales for two consecutive months, is it really wise to change the logo to something that has no inherent brand identification, and to drop the incredibly recognizable 'Pentium'?"
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Intel Dropping Pentium Brand

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  • Changing brands (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ducttapekz ( 879839 ) <kzettel@ g m a> on Monday January 16, 2006 @09:30AM (#14481141)
    is it really wise to change the logo to something that has no inherent brand identification, and to drop the incredibly recognizable 'Pentium'?"

    Sure it is. The first thing I think of is the original Pentium when I hear the word Pentium. Without the 4 after it, it inheritly sounds slow.
  • by Snamh Da Ean ( 916391 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @09:33AM (#14481148)
    It might seem crazy now, but it is hard to think of companies that really suffered (to the extent of exiting the industry) when they changed their brand names. Quality determines whether a product will be successful, and advertising and branding determine who successful it will be.

    I am sure Intel have given a great deal of thought to this, and in a few years saying D 860 or whatever will be completely natural. As it is, they are going to get bucketloads of publicity from the name change and that will help their bottom line.
  • Great Move (Score:3, Interesting)

    by scherermaddness ( 924425 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @09:35AM (#14481169)
    Please recall that AMD is only surpassing Intel in Retail sales, so these are the sales not of a computer that is already built like a dell. the retail purchaser will have an understanding or a knowlege of the naming of the chips before they purchase them (as does a current amd purchaser know the difference between a 939 and a 754 chipset). I think that this will not affect sales in its strogest catagories such as with gateway, dell or sony computers, and will only help retail sales because consumers can now see naming stratagies closer to that of AMD's.
  • by BenJeremy ( 181303 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @09:35AM (#14481173)
    Losing the brand name is stupid. Intel even has pop culture behind it.

    Kind of like when my wife's real estate agency went from "Better Homes and Gardens" to "GMAC" Ugh. "GMAC" stands for General Motors Assurance Corporation - how boring is that?

    Likewise, other recognizable brands or trade names have been wasted into oblivion by idiots sitting on boards who have no clue what they are doing. Witness "Securitas" - what's that, you say? It used to be known as "The Pinkerton Agency" - ahhh... now you recognize it, right? Recognize it fromt he countless pop culture references in western movies and books.

    Modern Marketing sucks bigtime.
  • desktop vs global (Score:2, Interesting)

    by totya ( 746634 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @09:37AM (#14481183)
    the pentium brand is only meaningful in PCs. they couldn't benefit from it in PDAs, phones and potentially other devices. if they standardize, like the D, X (scale, in PDAs), etc, it can be taken to the new, "global" level, without having to separate by product type.

    my $0.02
  • Pentium is old (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Per Abrahamsen ( 1397 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @09:37AM (#14481185) Homepage
    The brand name is old enough that people associate it with old and (comparable) slow computers. And old is not a good association for computers.
  • Re:Smart (Score:2, Interesting)

    by blackraven14250 ( 902843 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @09:38AM (#14481191)
    By the way, they're getting rid of that "Intel Inside" slogan thing, too.
  • by Janek Kozicki ( 722688 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @09:41AM (#14481209) Journal []

    Who has done that?
  • Re:Smart (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @09:42AM (#14481220) Journal
    Not 100% true,

    I have just "converted" some clients (3 specifically) from Intel to AMD, they where die hard "ignorant brand-name buying" users which believed that Intel is better than AMD (and VIA and any other CPU manufacturers) just because they saw more commercials on TV.

    What I told them is the tale of the NN processing bits, I told them "do you remember a long time ago, when machines used Windows 3.1, well, when you changed from that to Windows 95, you used a machine that was 32 bits, instead of 16 bits. Well, that was in 1995! now AMD has new processors which are 64 bits, thus can use Windows XP 64 instead of the normal Windows XP which is still 32 bits!" .

    I know my tale is not 100% accurate or complete but, I did those people a favor, they spent quite less using AMD and that also showed them that GHZ is not everything (that along with "the mother of all charts" [] of tom's hardware".

    Of course, the computers I am talking about are setup by me, the problem with brand computers (dell, hp, gateway, etc) is that they do not offer alternatives, or the AMD alternatives always seem pretty bad
  • by 99luftballon ( 838486 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @09:42AM (#14481222)
    It's the right time for a change - taking any brand name past three or four versions makes it look dated, which is something Intel is particularly looking to avoid. Sad to say some of the less smart consumers buying PCs really do by on brand name.

    The timing of this is interesting; it would have been much simpler to do all the brand changes in one go. This suggests that the initial branding changes went through, someone in the desktop division pulled a pet project to dump the brand and managed to get his idea agreed.
  • Misconception. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jaruzel ( 804522 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @09:45AM (#14481238) Homepage Journal
    (trust me, my parents are the proud owners of a celeron *shudders*).

    Why shudder?

    A 'Celeron D' is perfectly adequate for 90% of home users usage, and lets not forget that the mobile CPU in the Centrino package is a 'Celeron M' - which in its self is becoming quite popular as a low-heat/low-wattage chip.

    Unless of course you are referring to the older hamstrung Celerons, then yeah, they were crap.


  • Ironic (Score:2, Interesting)

    by LunarOne ( 91127 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @09:51AM (#14481266) Homepage
    is it really wise to change the logo to something that has no inherent brand identification, and to drop the incredibly recognizable 'Pentium'?"
    Yes, it's both interesting and ironic that the Pentium name is more recognizable than Intel itself.
  • by shippo ( 166521 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @09:52AM (#14481269)
    Prior to introducing the Pentium, Intel had already relased an Ethernet card called the 586, based on their 82586 chipset. I remember installing some in some servers delivered around 1992.
  • Isn't this old news? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NitsujTPU ( 19263 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @09:57AM (#14481291)
    I clearly remember discussing this matter on Slashdot with others.

    Pentium was just a clever name for what would have been the 586... we're now many many generations out from there. Countlessly, really, since there are many Pentium 4/M/Xeon/Extreme Edition.

    Now that clock speeds aren't ramping up, you can't go 5GHz P4. Changing names is the only way to keep it semi-coherent.
  • by Terje Mathisen ( 128806 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @10:10AM (#14481345)
    More than 11 years ago (nov '94) I happened to be the one to make the first public announcement of the Pentium FDIV bug, and over the next few weeks/months I also wrote most of the sw workaround (together with Cleve Moler, Tim Coe & Peter Tang).

    At the time I believed Intel would replace the Pentium name in time for the P6 (Hexium anyone?), but instead they started the long-running series of Pentium* processor families.

  • by MacGod ( 320762 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @10:25AM (#14481442)
    It seems like the lack of replacement-name indicates that Intel is trying to reinforce the brand of the company (Intel) instead of the brand of the chip (Pentium). This is probably because their lineup has diversified.

    With AMD catching up or even outperforming them in sales in many areas of the market, Intel's marketing people probably want people to buy a "genuine" Intel product, and the specifics matter less. Whether they get (what was formerly called) a Pentium, a Centrino, an Itanium or a Celeron matters less; but this brings into the linelight the perceived importance of the company producing the chip. And Intel is still recognised by the average consumer much more than AMD. Whereas they were diluting their brand by having many different chip names.

    Furthermore, this throws down the gauntlet for AMD. Previously, all AMD would have to do is get reasonable mindshare for "Athlon" compared to "Pentium". Now they would need to essentially unseat the entire "Intel" brand, which is a much tougher row to hoe.
  • by Vo0k ( 760020 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @10:48AM (#14481630) Journal
    "I got a Harley and a Porsche." Everyone understands.
    "I have 944 and 883". Wha?
    What about "Type 1"? Everyone knows VW Beetle. Nobody knows VW Type 1. But it's the same car...
    These products bought their fame DESPITE horrible brand names, not THANKS to them.
  • Another relation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bradleyland ( 798918 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @10:49AM (#14481638)
    I always ask my customers about their cars. I ask them if they wouldn't like to drive the same car as their mechanic, or at a minimum, that they would trust their mechanic's advice on what is reliable and offers good performance for the dollar. I'm their mechanic, only I work on their PC. If you look under the hood of my computer, you'll find AMD; because they offer a stable, affordable, and stronger alternative to Intel. It also helps to let them know that AMD has outsold Intel in the retail channel.
  • When I talk to Intel people, I get the impression that Intel is out of control. The most scary thing I have ever experienced is not horror films, but marketing departments like Intel's and Microsoft's that have so many people who are completely out of touch with the needs of their companies. They live in a weird disconnected world in which they fabricate fantasies about their own significance. I've met and talked with homeless people more in touch with reality than Intel or Microsoft marketing people.

    For example, on July 17, 2005 I got a message from Intel with the subject "Get an Intel(R) BunnyPeople(TM) Character when you Pass Three ICC Online Tests". Apparently someone at Intel thinks that I am immature enough to be motivated by a doll! Maybe there are people that immature, but I'll bet there are few immature people who have purchasing authority.

    On the other hand, I have found it impossible to get Intel to do anything right. The Intel people who aren't involved with the design of microprocessors have one "skill" in abundance: They have highly developed methods of avoiding work. I don't have time now to tell the stories about that. Here's only one:

    The Intel part number for Intel products was, at that time and probably now, not available anywhere on the public web site. So, if someone wanted to go to Fry's and be sure what they were getting, they would have no way of knowing what part number they wanted.

    At that time, there was a way to link Intel product names with Intel part numbers. It was necessary to get a secret password to a non-public Intel web site. I told several Intel marketing people how stupid that was. I got the standard stupid Intel marketing rationalizations about how they didn't need to do the work, or someone else was already doing it. (Which was not true.)

    The significance of dropping the Pentium name has nothing to do with the word Pentium. Intel marketing people are adopting ways of naming their microprocessors that provide no information whatsoever about what a prospective customer would be getting. Presumably that makes sense in the fantasy world in which they live. Sneaky behavior is considered smart in the fake world of Intel marketing; they believe they are so superior that they can play games and their customers won't notice.

    I forget right now who is CEO of Intel, but the Intel board of directors should fire him. He has no clue about how to build a sense of community.
  • Well, considering... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dark_Lord_Prime ( 899914 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @12:00PM (#14482210) Homepage
    ..that "Pentium" was Intel's trademarkable name for their "586" processor (see, "penta-" means "five"; clever, eh?) and we're on what would technically be 886(?) now, I'd say it's about damned time they changed the name.

    (geek joke coming up)

    They're as bad as Capcom when it comes to counting.

    (end geek joke - 20 points if you got it)

    (the geek joke was referring to Capcom's seemingly-neverending 'Street Fighter 2' series: SF2, SF2 Championship Edition, SF2 Hyper Fighting, etc, etc...)
  • by coralsaw ( 904732 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @12:17PM (#14482367)
    What the man said.

    Make the consumer identify with the mother brand, not the models that change yearly. Check out Lincoln's parallel path, and their explanation for it: /20060102/SUB/51229028/1023 []

    "We think it's important to build the brand image, so changing to this alpha system really helps put Lincoln more in the spotlight as a brand," spokeswoman Sara Tatchio said. "It also indicates a certain level of luxury."

    Gah, will the next Intel D model also sport a GTI version? Cause I want it bad!

  • Re:Smart (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NoData ( 9132 ) <_NoData_&yahoo,com> on Monday January 16, 2006 @02:41PM (#14483743)
    When you know how to spot it, it become blatantly obvious: product identifiers become non-words or just short strings of digits so the manufacturer's name will again become part of product mentions. Auto manufacturers have known this for decades. Remember when the "Legend" and "Vigor" brands disappeared in favor of the "Acura TL" and "Acura RL?" Acura learned form what BMW, Mercedes, and others knew for years. You don't drive a 323i or a C350, you drive a BMW 323i or a Mercedes C350. Only when in-context do the models become shortened to their simple model names or series/class name. Now Intel's following this path.

    I think this is an empirical question. I'd like to see data that suggest having particularly unmemorable model names significantly improves association with the company. "It makes intuitive sense" doesn't fly. BMW and Mercedes have strong brand name cachet because of their legendary association with luxury and performance engineering. I'm not convinced their byzantine model naming system accentuates that association. Honda and Toyota have a powerful association with reliability and prudent engineering and they have "named" models. Does having an "Accord" or a "Camry" somehow make the carmakers themselves less memorable as brands? Maybe maybe not. Even if so, is it an effect that's significant? Does it REALLY matter?

    Personally, I find random number/letter strings annoying and harder to keep straight. They impose a higher working memory load than the nicely "prechunked" proper names. This fact there is already a large, old psychological literature to support. The new "trend" seems to be to exploit this annoyance with meaningless model numbers to benefit the memorability of the maker. But does that transfer (if real) overcome the annoyance of dealing with the "psychologically crippled" model names?

    I think that cryptic model names may have another cost--it makes the various models blend together in a way that makes it difficult to strongly stratify the product line. There is a big "psychological" difference between a Corolla and a Camry. How much difference is there (psychologically) between a 325 and a 525? There's a $15,000 difference in price tag, so you better make the 525 buyer really feel like there getting something special to move them up. But if a "BMW is a BMW" then why bother? How much more status does a 5 series buy you, except among the congnescenti?

    "Celeron", "Pentium," "Xenon," "Itanium" all have strong, distinct associations in my mind. Celeron and Itanium, particularly negative. Even though, as many pointed out, Celerons (and Xeons) are often just small variants on the Pentium line. But they each have a very different mental niche. With an alphabet soup of processors, it will be hard (except for the nerds, natch) to keep them straight and opt for one over another.

    But then again, maybe not. These are empirical, testable questions. Intuition shouldn't drive these kinds of mundane choices, data should.
  • Re:Another relation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sebastopol ( 189276 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @03:22PM (#14484201) Homepage

    Bad example. Mechanics are way out of touch.

    I also know a lot of mechanics who drive tricked out, oh excuse me, pimped out or monster cars and obsess about meaningless details (THC 4 speed better than Mopar! No way, my chevy 350 smallblock will bury your hemi!) Nitrous bottles? Bored over engines? How exactly is this good advice to someone looking for a reliable fuel efficient car? Most mechanics obsess about performance cars and have zero grasp of practicality.

    The PC service industry and the Car service industry are staffed by the same kind of folk: non-college-degree white men who are obsessed with meaningless details and tricked out chassis.

    My favorite is when mechanics disagree with the engineering manuals and claim to "know better" than the designers. That cracks me up.

  • Re:Smart (Score:3, Interesting)

    by angle_slam ( 623817 ) on Monday January 16, 2006 @08:33PM (#14486994)
    I think that cryptic model names may have another cost--it makes the various models blend together in a way that makes it difficult to strongly stratify the product line. There is a big "psychological" difference between a Corolla and a Camry. How much difference is there (psychologically) between a 325 and a 525? There's a $15,000 difference in price tag, so you better make the 525 buyer really feel like there getting something special to move them up. But if a "BMW is a BMW" then why bother? How much more status does a 5 series buy you, except among the congnescenti?

    I'm a car guy, so I know the difference between a C class and E-class Mercedes, and a 3-series and 5-series BMW. But I'd think that even non-car people know the difference. With BMW, it's particularly easy--5 series is more expensive because the number 3 is smaller than the number 5. But anyone who owns an MB, knows that the C series is the bottom series and the E-series is a lot more expensive.

    Speaking of re-branding, I've always wondered why the Corvette is a Chevrolet model. Chevy is their "bottom-of-the line" brand. Why not associate the Corvette (not just the top-of-the-line Chevy, but also the top-of-the-line GM) with Cadillac? I would assume that it's just tradition. The Corvette has always been Chevrolet, so they keep the name.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!