Intel is making it easier to maintain and deploy desktop images. Previously, there was no telling when Intel might make a change to the firmware that runs on its chipsets. When changes did come, IT would have to retest desktop images to make sure they were still compatible with the hardware and that the applications could still run properly. Under its new SIPP (Stable Image Platform Program) initiative, Intel is ensuring that changes will be compatible for one year after a chipset is introduced, and it will make significant changes only annually. Intel is starting with desktops based on the 865G and mobile devices based on the 855.
This is the kind of image stability IT managers have been seeking. It does not mean that innovation will be held up and new products introduced only once a year. Rather, any modifications will be certified to work with images created within the past year, eliminating the creation of new desktop images and the testing of existing images. Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, NEC, Fujitsu and other major PC vendors also say it will help them enhance the stability of their products. If we're lucky, Intel's initiative will push others, namely AMD, to follow.