Intel Announces Thunderbolt

Today on All things Digital Arik Hesseldahl talked about Intel’s new HD Audio/Visual connection type called “Thunderbolt.”  The numbers on this connection port are pretty impressive (in the 10 Gigabits per second range.)  yes you read that right. 

Of course the only PC to support this technology as yet is Apple.  Now this really burns me up because you know Intel and Apple collaborated on this so that Apple could release their new MacBook Pro with support for the Thunderbolt connection.  At present there is no word from other PC manufacturers about when they will add Thunderbolt Ports. All of the manufactures will almost certainly add them to their PC’s but until then we will all have to hear how cool Apple is because they support Thunderbolt and no one else does. 

Don’t get me wrong here I am all for taking advantage of a real competitive advantage to establish a position in a marketplace.  What I am not a fan of is this idea that somehow an overpriced Apple PC is worth the extra money because it supports an emerging standard that almost certainly will be supported by every PC (and possibly mobile device) manufacturer out there. 

Apple did this with the USB port as well.  They were the first to the USB party and offered support for USB before any of the PC manufacturers.  It didn’t provide product differentiation then and it still doesn’t now.  Looking back it sure seems silly to think that it was somehow worth an extra $500 and a move to the Apple platform way back when just to be the first to get USB ports. 

Kudos to Apple for being the first in line for the Thunderbolt Party.

Kudos to Intel for dreaming of a technology that will make all of our HD video transfer lives easier, and building it.

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