The desktop PC might be dying, but it's still on life support. Now, Intel's decided to let one of its internal organs function with slightly less external involvement. Starting later this year, after the launch of its new Haswell chips, the company will stop developing new desktop motherboards. In fact, Intel plans to wind down the whole desktop motherboard business over the course of the next three years.
According to the company, there aren't any plans to abandon the desktop market just yet, as Intel will keep producing desktop processors for now, but rumor has it that future processors might be pre-soldered to OEM motherboards... which could make it difficult for enthusiasts to piece together computers of their own. "Intel remains very committed to the desktop business," reads part of the statement, but later the company gives itself an out: "Future product roadmaps will be evaluated based on platform performance and power needs," says Intel.
For now, there are still plenty of excellent component choices if you're, say, building your own gaming PC. But if Intel doesn't believe desktop motherboards are still a viable business by 2016, we wonder how long they'll continue to be available from the top Taiwanese manufacturers like Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte.