While it's made significant advances in optimizing the power/performance of its chips with its new Haswell and Bay Trail chips, Intel's fortunes in the PC devices market are tied with OEMs such as Dell that are themselves struggling for a foothold on a slippery slope (after significant declines in its revenues, Dell was recently taken private) . The secular shift in the buying preferences of consumers towards class defining tablets by Apple (the iPad) and the cheaper and more open offerings from the Android ecosystem led by Samsung and Amazon have left Intel and it's traditional PC OEMs (such as Dell) in the dust. With the failure of Microsoft's Windows 8 to garner much mind-share with consumers in the face of these changes, Intel and its coterie of PC OEMs pretty much have to compete for scraps in the highly voluminous but not so lucrative Android tablet space. While Intel is seeing good commitment for its technology from the OEMs, the OEMs themselves are fishing in the air for a product that will stick with consumers and go head on against the (ARM based) quality offerings from Samsung and Apple, all of which are mature products with several iterations of product life cycles under their belts -- a very difficult market to break into.
A smart CEO would have made Intel go vertical, by creating the entire device, about 5 years ago when Apple decided to design their own chips. Instead, we had a gutless, visionless CEO Paul O. who just stayed the status quo. Now, Intel is in a huge pickle. They're relying on "partners" who could care less about Intel's interests.
I don't think things have changed with BK as new CEO. They're still sticking with "what works" and not risking integrating up to platform level. I agree with you assessment that in order to compete in today's scenario, they need to truly become a device vendor and not just make reference designs.
Microsoft is doing this and very soon you could see them designing their own ARM based chips to complete their vertical integration.
You forget that Windows is a BIG market? Who on here doesn't own a Windows machine? 90% of all businesses use Windows.
Now, I know I have been waiting on Haswell and Bay Trail to upgrade. And I am sure half the people on here have been too. I plan to buy a Dell XPS 11 and a Lenovo Miix 8" tablet this holiday season.
I also know business that have been waiting on Haswell and Bay Trail too. With great battery life improvements in Haswell, a large number of businesses will upgrade their employee's laptops to take advantage of this to increase productivity.
Windows is a 300 million+ annual worldwide market which is bigger than the tablet market. However, this market is shrinking while the tablet market is growing which point towards cannibalization. Of course a lot of people will upgrade their ageing Windows machines specially with the superior technology now available. But, whether or not that ongoing upgrade cycle will receive a bump due to Haswell and Bay Trail or will continue its slide downwards due to cannibalization by tablets is the question. The trends point to a continuing slide downwards.
People don't seem to realize the importance of this fact. Essentially this means that you can invest in Intel for the foreseeable future and know that you're going to be at the top of the fabrication game throughout. Intel invented the microprocessor and for the last 40 odd years has tirelessly pushed the Moore's Law envelope. This article basically says that it will continue to do that for the next 10 years at least.