Some would argue that Microsoft’s long-time partnership with Intel was a blessing and a curse. It benefited Microsoft to have a chip maker who’s product help power their OS. However, some would argue that Microsoft was shackled by Intel’s development schedule. Regardless of the relationship dynamics, due to their dominance and cozy relationship, both giants arguably slept away an entire decade of progress. It wasn’t until the blossoming of mobile that both Intel and Microsoft found themselves in actual market competition.
Unfortunately for the two, both companies responded poorly. Microsoft rushed out Windows 8 and showcased it on their first ever computing device. The original Surface RT was a glitchy underpowered mess that tried to break the shackles of Intel’s development cycle by omitting the desktop environment Intel chips thrived in. On the other hand, Intel sat on the sidelines while trying to develop a chip competitive enough to put on mobile devices. Intel’s competitive absence in this space cost them money and OEM confidence as tablet and phone makers gravitated to more mobile friendly alternatives. By 2013, some journalists and analysts were calling for the demise of the once dominant Wintel partnership.
Despite past situations, Microsoft and Intel are back at work with another. Intel’s contributions to Microsoft are now going beyond chipsets, and into the world of browsers. Thanks in part to Intel's contributions, Microsoft’s new Edge browser will now host SIMD and other performance enhancements.
Also in regards to SIMD, Intel has helped with the performance improvements to the graphics layout and other subsystems of Microsoft Edge. Intel is partly responsible for the optimizing the navigation time for pages containing several inline elements and optimization to reduce DOM parse for text-area elements.
It would appear as Microsoft and Intel look to regain their footing, both are leaning on each other in this new mobile-first frontier. If their partnership continues to produce results like the Edge browser, perhaps Wintel can yet again be a competitive force.