James Moore: Microsoft is Armed and possibly even dangerous to Apple
Outlook: So which chip are you going to pick? Microsoft has unveiled the Surface, its much-hyped rival to the iPad, with much fanfare and one of the interesting sub-plots to this story is that you can chose whether it comes with an Intel or an Arm chip.
Now the Intel name is known the world over. It flashes up along with that deeply irritating four-note jingle alongside ads for numerous bits of computer kit.
Along with the "Intel Inside" slogan this has made the brand so familiar that consumers probably feel that if its got an Intel it must be good, even if it isn't. That's not the case with Arm's products, which the British company designs for other people to make.
They're everywhere: in laptops, tablets and smartphones (including the iPhone). But almost no one knows it. The Arm name is likely to induce a bout of head scratching from anyone outside a relatively small circle made up of tech geeks, City analysts and financial journalists.
Thus far this hasn't been any bar to a great deal of success. The company, based in Cambridgeshire's "silicon fen", is another of those little-known British success stories. Its shares sit on a sky-high rating (much higher as a multiple of earnings than either Microsoft or Apple), not least because of the fact that it has been growing at a breakneck pace and has made a habit of beating City expectations.
Is it missing a trick on the marketing front, though? Quite possibly. It would presumably be reasonably easy for Arm to demand that its name and perhaps a slogan appears somewhere prominently when it licenses new chips. How about "Arm-ed with the best" to counter Intel's pitch?
Finance directors sometime baulk at the cost of producing this sort of thing because branding and advertising agencies are expensive – small wonder when they've got to find the money for Sir Martin Sorrell's £12.9m pay packet plus the largesse showered on his boardroom pals at ad companies like WPP.
Still, none of this will matter if things get rough on the Surface and it goes the same way as previous attempts to rival the iPad by Hewlett Packard and the BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, despite some reviewers claiming their offerings were better than Apple's market leader. Sustained by endless upgrades to its Windows operating system, Microsoft would appear to be a tougher nut to crack. Until you remember what happened to its attempt to take on the iPod with the Zune or the iPhone with the Kin. Not many people do, though. Which says it all really. Has Microsoft announced the launch date for Windows 10 yet?
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
- 1 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for beauty pageant
- 2 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Market Administrator (1st line Support, Trade Fl...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Data Support Analyst (Linux, Solaris, Windows Se...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Helpdesk Support Engineer (Windows, MS Office, E...