Intel have just sent along word that they will begin phasing out their retail motherboard business over the next three years. To cut off some knee-jerk reactions some may have – no this does not spell the end of the desktop PC. While Intel has been making retail desktop motherboards for their CPUs for 10 years now, the market is well served by third party manufacturers.
Companies like Gigabyte, Asus, and MSI offer plenty of viable options for desktop motherboards at all price points. In fact, most people who read sites like this rarely consider an Intel board in the first place. Although their boards have come a long way in enthusiast features in recent years, most enthusiasts opt for the other familiar brands.
Once their Haswell motherboard is released, they will stop developing motherboards, leaving that market to the aforementioned manufacturers. Instead, they will turn their attention to more all-in-one solutions like Ultrabooks All-in-One systems, and the recent NUC prototype. Basically, their desktop lineup will look more like Apple’s in about 2-3 years.
We should note again that this does not mean desktop PCs are going anywhere. Intel will continue to develop CPUs that can be plugged into motherboards, along with these integrated solutions.