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Intel on Q1 FY 2019: Servers Down, PC Market Up, Revenue Flat

Intel Corporation today reported first-quarter 2019 financial results. In the first quarter, the company generated approximately $5.0 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.4 billion and used $2.5 billion to repurchase 49 million shares of stock.

"Results for the first quarter were slightly higher than our January expectations. We shipped a strong mix of high-performance products and continued spending discipline while ramping 10nm and managing a challenging NAND pricing environment. Looking ahead, we're taking a more cautious view of the year, although we expect market conditions to improve in the second half," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "Our team is focused on expanding our market opportunity, accelerating our innovation and improving execution while evolving our culture. We aim to capitalize on key technology inflections that set us up to play a larger role in our customers' success, while improving returns for our owners."

Epic's Tim Sweeney Says They'd Stop Hunting for Exclusives if Steam Matched Epic Games Store in Comission Rates

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has come out with an interesting commitment: that EPIC would stop hunting for exclusives in the PC platform is Steam were to match them in their 88% return to developers for each game sold. Being a developer themselves, Epic games have certainly looked into creating their own storefront as a way to escape the clutches of Steam's cut in the digital, PC distribution market (a move that had already been done by the likes of EA and Ubisoft, if you'll remember). A commitment to stop hunting for exclusives (and thus segregating the PC games offering across different platforms) is a clear indicator of Epic's mission with the Epic Games Store: to bring back power and returns to developers such as them (while taking a cut from the profits for themselves, obviously).

Check out after the break for the full content of Sweeney's remarks regarding their Games Store and the problem with Steam. I, for one, don't see much of a problem with virtual segregation of games across multiple PC-bound platforms - one of the strengths of PC gaming is actually the ability to install multiple applications that increase functionality, after all. But if the end game of all of this is simply to give more back to developers and Epic's move facilitates that by forcing Valve's hand in matching them for fear of drying profits - then so be it.

Intel Reports First-Quarter 2019 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported first-quarter 2019 financial results. "Results for the first quarter were slightly higher than our January expectations. We shipped a strong mix of high performance products and continued spending discipline while ramping 10nm and managing a challenging NAND pricing environment. Looking ahead, we're taking a more cautious view of the year, although we expect market conditions to improve in the second half," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "Our team is focused on expanding our market opportunity, accelerating our innovation and improving execution while evolving our culture. We aim to capitalize on key technology inflections that set us up to play a larger role in our customers' success, while improving returns for our owners."

In the first quarter, the company generated approximately $5.0 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.4 billion and used $2.5 billion to repurchase 49 million shares of stock. In the first quarter, Intel achieved 4 percent growth in the PC-centric business while data-centric revenue declined 5 percent.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 50th Anniversary Edition Pictured Up Close: Signed by Lisa Su

Here are two of the first high-resolution pictures of the Ryzen 7 2700X 50th Anniversary Edition commemorative processor by AMD. It turns out we were right in guessing that it has special markings on the IHS (integrated heatspreader). Turns out, you get a facsimile of AMD CEO Lisa Su's signature, in addition to the AMD-50 logo above the main Ryzen logo. The box itself sees black replace gray as the primary color, and gold replacing auburn/orange in most places except the main Ryzen logo on the front face. A Wraith Prism RGB cooling solution is included, just like normal 2700X PIB packages. Early listings of the processor pinned its price around USD $340, a premium over the $295 price the Ryzen 7 2700X is typically going for.

Intel to Exit 5G Smartphone Modem Business, Focus on 5G Network Infrastructure

Intel Corporation today announced its intention to exit the 5G smartphone modem business and complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, internet of things devices and other data-centric devices. Intel will also continue to invest in its 5G network infrastructure business. The company will continue to meet current customer commitments for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line, but does not expect to launch 5G modem products in the smartphone space, including those originally planned for launches in 2020.

"We are very excited about the opportunity in 5G and the 'cloudification' of the network, but in the smartphone modem business it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns," said Intel CEO Bob Swan. "5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are assessing our options to realize the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world." Intel expects to provide additional details in its upcoming first-quarter 2019 earnings release and conference call, scheduled for April 25.

Electronic Arts Lets Go of 350 Employees Amidst Internal Restructuring

It would be a safe bet to admit that Electronic Arts (EA) has not had the best 12, or even 24, months as a publisher. While their sports division continues to thrive, it may well be the one business unit holding down the fort. Their use of the Star Wars license has been dubious at best when it comes to execution, with reports on cancelled games and Battlefront II (the new one) not meeting expectations. Battlefield V has also not lit the field on fire, unless you are playing the new Firestorm battle royal mode in a literal sense, and the less said about Anthem the better. Apex Legends was introduced to much fanfare at launch, but the recent battle pass has soured many on the future of this new IP.

Perhaps it was a matter of when, rather than if, that the company would find a personnel restructure to be in order, and today just happened to be the day. EA CEO Andrew Wilson helped put out a statement on their website, recognizing a challenging world ahead and that they are "making deliberate moves to better deliver on our commitments, refine our organization and meet the needs" of players. These moves and changes involve letting go of as many as 350 people (out of 9000 total, or around 4%) unfortunately, most of whom are on their publicity and marketing departments, while also toning down their presence in Japan and Russia. We here at TechPowerUp are always saddened to hear such news, and take solace in knowing that EA is helping the laid-off personnel find new employment opportunities.

Borderlands 3 Possibly Exclusive to Epic Games Store on PC, Fans Worry Based on Old Tweet

Randy Pitchford is an interesting character even as game company CEOs go, with a.. checkered history in the last few months that go from funny all the way to controversial at minimum. As the head of Gearbox, he holds a lot of power when it comes to the Borderlands franchise, which itself teased a third numbered entry to be revealed at PAX East later this month. His social media activity has been a prime example of what not to do as a CEO owing to some personal and professional issues alike, which meant that this latest tease not only got people looking at more about the Borderlands franchise, but also his twitter account.

Users dug up an old tweet from December 2018 wherein he claimed he was "excited to support the Epic Games Store", and this was enough to initiate concerns that Borderlands 3 might be an exclusive to the Epic Games Store on the PC platform. Subsequent replies did nothing to quell these concerns, although there was nothing to confirm anything either. This may all be making a mountain out of an imaginary molehill, but it makes sense for Epic Games to go after Borderlands 3 to get more customers on their side- especially knowing that such exclusivity deals could be in the millions of US dollars. We will know more when the game is officially announced, so keep an eye out for that.

Intel Names Robert Swan CEO

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) today announced that its board of directors has named Robert (Bob) Swan as chief executive officer. Swan, 58, who has been serving as Intel's interim CEO for seven months and as chief financial officer since 2016, is the seventh CEO in Intel's 50-year history. Swan has also been elected to Intel's board of directors. Todd Underwood, vice president of Finance and director of Intel's Corporate Planning and Reporting, will assume the role of interim chief financial officer as the company undertakes an internal and external search for a permanent CFO.

"As Intel continues to transform its business to capture more of a large and expanding opportunity that includes the data center, artificial intelligence and autonomous driving, while continuing to get value from the PC business, the board concluded after a thorough search that Bob is the right leader to drive Intel into its next era of growth," said Chairman Andy Bryant. "The search committee conducted a comprehensive evaluation of a wide range of internal and external candidates to identify the right leader at this critical juncture in Intel's evolution. We considered many outstanding executives and we concluded the best choice is Bob. Important in the board's decision was the outstanding job Bob did as interim CEO for the past seven months, as reflected in Intel's outstanding results in 2018. Bob's performance, his knowledge of the business, his command of our growth strategy, and the respect he has earned from our customers, our owners, and his colleagues confirmed he is the right executive to lead Intel."
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