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CES 2006: Intel Launches New Branding, New Platforms

In a bid to win the hearts and minds of consumers as well as business users, Intel is dropping its 15-year-old "Intel inside" marketing slogan and changing its corporate logo. The microprocessor giant will also announce a new line of microprocessors at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2006, which gets underway Wednesday in Las Vegas.

For a company as conservative as Intel, the changes are somewhat shocking. But the company has watched its brand lose its luster over the past few years as PC sales have slowed and consumers have shown little interest in minor speed bumps to its microprocessors. With the new branding and logo, Intel hopes to present itself as not just a chip maker, but as a technology platform provider.

"This evolution will allow Intel to be better recognized for our contributions, establish a stronger emotional connection with our audiences, and strengthen our overall position in the marketplace," says Intel chief marketing officer Eric Kim.

At CES, we'll see the first of these changes. Intel's new logo drops the dangling lowercase "e" that typified its previous logo and adopts a more modern font. "Intel Inside" has been dropped in favor of the new "Leap ahead" slogan, which the company describes as a "call to action." In a recent press release, Intel described its new slogan as "two words \[that\] capture what drives us, inspires us, galvanizes us into action, and unites us in purpose and practice. It is the simple embodiment of what we make possible for people everywhere."

But Intel's evolution isn't just about marketing. The company will also launch a new line of Core microprocessors, which will replace the Pentium M. Core processors will ship in both single-core versions, called Core Solo, and dual-core versions, called Core Duo. Unlike the Pentium M, Intel will push the Core chips at both notebook computers and desktops. Several major PC makers will announce Core-based PCs at CES. Additionally, Intel will launch its Viiv (pronounced "vive") platform for media center PCs and similar home entertainment products, and you can expect some Viiv-related announcements as well.

Finally, Apple will soon begin its transition to Intel chips. While Apple isn't scheduled to appear at CES, the company is holding its annual MacWorld conference a week after CES in San Francisco. There, Apple CEO Steve Jobs will reportedly announce the first generation of Intel-based Macs, which could be some combination of notebook and desktop machines. Intel is rumored to be working with Apple to develop the motherboards for some of Apple's upcoming computers as well.

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