Like others I'm left to wonder if this kind of public announcement doesn't signal something Intel knows that we don't. Otherwise, why go out of your way to piss off a customer?
What's happened is this: Apple goes Intel, Intel praises Apple and Apple's innovative designs, sort of suggesting PC parts assemblers might try to be innovative as well (Intel has a long history of mostly goofy "reference platforms" that attempt to goose just that). PC business goes to hell. In a desperate effort to rekindle the old fire, Intel very openly uses the briskly selling MacBook Air as a template for their stupid marketing category "Ultrabook" (actually offering discounts to PC parts assemblers in an effort to hit Apple's price points), which means they are in the very bizarre position of paying a bounty in an effort to get the larger share of their market to copy the design of their minority share. Then they go on record as claiming the fruits of those efforts will eclipse the Air because Windows is so awesome and "choice."
So if they weren't going out of their way to enrage Apple and all but guarantee that they'll lose them as a customer at the first opportunity, then they're either very stupid or insane. I have no idea if or when alternates to Intel will become viable, but does anyone doubt that Apple will jump ship the instant they do? Or that Apple will pour money into making that possible? And who can blame them? This isn't run of the mill hurly burly of doing business, it's a very deliberate, astonishingly brazen slap in the face to your own customer.
It occurred to me that Jobs was the only person at practically any of these companies who you didn't dare play chicken with, because he was eccentric enough to call a bluff by yanking something out from under you and be not at all concerned that he'd come off as a bad person or a big baby. He didn't care. It's possible that Apple has entered the era where its vendors and rivals have let their guard down in their public statements now that the gorilla in the room is no longer liable to make a painful retaliation based on an unflattering soundbite.
A few years ago, when Apple had just switched to Intel, there were a couple of Intel flacks who dissed Macs in some public forum somewhere, and boy did Intel's top brass come down hard on those two jokers. The CEO had to come out with a statement to basically contradict what the two flacks said.
Right. And the difference is that this time he won't feel he has to.