Intel hardware dominates the PC market, but a new emphasis on software could help the chipmaker expand into other markets and foster greater innovation, even if the effort could rankle longtime allies like Microsoft.
Best known for producing the processors that have been at the heart of the PC industry for more than 20 years, Intel has quietly amassed an army of more than 8,000 software engineers, according to sources familiar with the company.
Executives at the chipmaker declined to comment on the specific number, choosing only to confirm that it has more than 5,000 coders. But the number has grown rapidly in the past few years, as the company has expanded its product lines. While much of the group's efforts still go into simply making Intel's hardware work, many of the engineers are now working to create new user interfaces, write Linux software and add features for Windows PCs that might have been left to more traditional software companies in the past.