One of the country’s biggest independent manufacturers of laptops isn’t impressed by Intel Corp.’s efforts to help PC manufacturers.

Marc Bialic, president of Ottawa-based Eurocom Corp., says Intel’s new Professional Business and home platforms are another step by the chipmaker to dominate

the computer components market.

“Is this positive? I don’t think so,” said Bialic. “Customers should have a choice,” he said, noting Intel’s push into integrating video and wireless chips on to motherboards.

“If Intel is going to be the vendor for everything – chipsets, CPUs, video – this will decrease innovation long-term.”

Eurocom uses both Intel and AMD processors in its laptops, which it sells as desktop replacements.

However, Intel Canada manager Doug Cooper says the new chipset platforms will be a boon to system builders. “Companies that invest in a Professional Business Platform will be in a position to allow their resellers to manage desktops (for customers) more productively” than internal staff, he said.

“For resellers, this is potentially a renewable revenue source.”

The Professional Business Platform combines Intel’s security, management and collaboration chipsets and software to help IT managers remotely monitor PCs on networks and install software patches, even if the machines are turned off.

To take advantage of the features computers need to be built around Intel’s 945G Express chipset and a Pentium 4 processor with hyperthreading.

The home platform is aimed at buyers who want to make PCs the centre of their entertainment. It includes Intel’s Graphics Media Accelerator, High Definition Audio sound chips and the 945 Express chipset.

There will not be special branding on PCs with the business platform, Cooper said. Instead, resellers are expected to educate corporate buyers to ask for systems to be built around the platform, or for OEM systems with it.

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