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Intel Nixes Annual Intel Developer Forum After 20 Years As Its Business ‘Evolves’

17 April 2017, 11:40 pm EDT By Carl Velasco Tech Times
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Intel is officially canceling its Intel Developer Forum, or IDF — an annual gathering of tech enthusiasts eager to hear what Intel is cooking up.

IDF began in 1997 as a wee event, nothing too sophisticated and grand, in Palm Springs, California. Over the years, the show acquired a larger following, owing in part to the boom in the PC market. Its expansion eventually propelled it to move to San Francisco, with the event increasingly accruing more sophistication and significance over time.

Why Is Intel Canceling Its Annual Developer Forum?

The cancelation, though a bit of a gut-punch for developers looking forward to it every year, paves the way for a more targeted series of events that's more evolved and specific. Speaking to AnandTech, an Intel spokesperson said the move signals Intel's expansion into other markets, ventures: it's no longer exclusively a PC staple with its chips because it's also moving toward other technologies, such as virtual reality, for instance.

"Intel has been transforming from a PC company and becoming much more diversified — we are in AI, 5G, autonomous driving," Agnes Kwan, an Intel spokesperson, told the Silicon Valley Business Journal. "The scope has really grown. As our business evolves, we need to reach new audiences and use different ways to reach them."

A Focus On Targeted Messages

To that end, big annual one-offs are no longer efficient for Intel in the efforts to spread its messages. Instead, as an attempt to communicate its technologies more effectively, it'll rely on more specific niche events that cater to specific audiences, such as those more keen on a particular category of devices or a specific Intel enterprise.

"Intel has evolved its event portfolio and decided to retire the IDF program moving forward," reads the official announcement.

This way, Intel can transition from compacting all the news it needs to share in one big event into parsing, dividing, and distributing its messages to the people who'll most likely listen.

It also helps Intel introduce products at any point of the year of its choosing instead of collating a few announcements, which runs the risk of a relatively "thin" event. This is because Intel's announcements and unveilings are less frequent than, say, Apple's. So scattered events would be more fitting for its overall schedule, since often there's just nothing new to announce.

It's worth noting that Intel's IDF is a major component of its ability to unveil developments in a grand way, so the impact of canceling it is hard to determine, especially if it has yet to share very detailed plans on how replacement events will be handled moving forward. Needless to say that you should expect to hear Intel news moving forward.

Instead of an array of news hitting you all at once, Intel will more economically slice the bulk as it sees fit, or at least that's the concept Intel is implying with its statement.

All told, the decision to nix IDF is not much of a shocker, since it closely mimics an increasing Silicon Valley trend where heavyweights such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft have steered away from one-off events toward divided affairs that involve unveilings and showcases of a particular product.

IDF has been Intel's home for high-profile announcements, ranging from CPUs, storage products, and networking fabrics.

Do you frequent Intel's annual IDF events? Troubled by its cancelation? Feel free to share why down in the comments section!

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