Last September I wrote about Intel buying Neocleus, a software company that was working on a Type 1 "bare metal" client hypervisor. (Well, actually this purchase was never officially confirmed by either company. Neocleus's website has remained unchanged, although their blog is down.)
Nothing more really came from this over the past few months until last week, when I had a chance to sit down with Intel's Rick Echevarria (pictured left, from his twitter profile). Rick is VP of Intel's Architecture Group (and the guy who owns the business clients & vPro). While he wasn't prepared to go on record too deeply about Neocleus, he was willing to share a few things. First, the mere fact that we had this conversation confirms that Intel did in fact buy Neocleus (or at least some part of them). The rumor was that Neocleus was out of money and about to shut down, and that Intel bought them for less than $1m. Rick wouldn't confirm that, but he did confirm that Intel now has the Neocleus folks working for them and owns their intellectual property.
Rick first put the rumor to bed about Intel creating a hypervisor. No, Intel is not planning on creating a client hypervisor that would compete with partners like Citrix or VMware. Instead the value that Neocleus brings to Intel is that they're now able to have a conversation with their partners about client hypervisors. The Neocleus folks give Intel an in-house perspective on what might be important for a client hypervisor and lets them speak intelligently about the topic.
Finally, having client hypervisor expertise in-house means that (much like the acquisition of McAfee) Intel can remind customers that they're about more than silicon, and the deeper knowledge they have on the software side of things, the better.