Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT, said considering all the pressures on Intel right now -- brutal competition, falling margins and upstart mobile technologies -- Intel actually has been executing about as well as circumstances allow.
The company, however, needs to focus on coming out of this period in a strong position and not sinking deeper into troubled waters, he said. "The company certainly needs to do better in some areas, particularly mobile devices including tablets and smart phones, but I expect to see an increasing number of Intel-based products in those areas in coming months."
Olds noted that Intel needs to push through this tough period to keep it from falling behind further. "The PC market reeks right now. There's no other way to put it," Old said. "Intel is not in trouble now but they need to focus on where trouble could come from."
"The trouble isn't right here immediately but people are making choices to buy tablets instead of PCs. It doesn't mean they won't buy PCs again. They probably will. But Intel needs to be concerned about erosion and future competition, stiff competition," he said.
So what does Intel need to do?
tThe analysts generally agreed that it needs to lower its margins, push lower-priced ultrabooks and continue to be innovative. Ottelini said Tuesday that laptops and desktops with Intel's next-generation Core processor, code-named Haswell, will be available in the first half of next year.
"I think that there's a significant amount of pent-up demand in terms of business refreshes and consumers but there's just too much economic uncertainty right now," said Olds. "Best case, I'd say, is that it's three quarters away, maybe two, before we see a solid upswing."
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.