I am utterly furious at you, Intel. You make great hardware that we enthusiasts gladly encourage our friends and our families to purchase, and then you treat us like we're a bunch of blithering idiots. I'm sure the fight against ARM will go well while you deliberately eliminate one of your best competitive advantages: Regular software updates.
After about the sixth time trying to install a driver and being told "Your system does not meet the minimum requirements for this software," or, more infuriatingly, "The driver being installed is not validated for this computer. Please obtain the appropriate driver from the computer manufacturer," I'm about to blow a gasket. This is straight up unacceptable. You know damn well that OEMs update their drivers when hell freezes over, Intel, that's the ENTIRE reason people come to your website for drivers. If you're just going to shuck us over to Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc. to get our devices to work as advertised, then you might as well can your entire software development team and save the money -- because they're producing software that nobody can actually use.
End users do not come to Intel.com to get drivers. Hell, I've met self-described "computer people" who still trustingly go to their product support page on their OEM's website to download all the drivers for their computers. That works for the most part, unless you have something like an Intel Wireless-AC 7260 wifi card, which just, you know, disconnects randomly. In that case, users absolutely need to get driver revision 17.14 in order for their wifi card to behave and operate in a usable manner expected by any basic wireless card (certainly one bearing the name "Intel" on it). Or, for example, if users want their Intel Wireless Display technology to work, they'll need a minimum graphics driver of 15.36.x.x (Dell only supplies some prehistoric 10.x driver that was probably written before the Chicxulub impactor killed the dinosaurs).
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're going to tell me to go to Dell, or HP, and get on them about updating the drivers, but honestly, it isn't their responsibility. You're not giving them the internal diagrams of your processors and graphics chips and network controllers, because those are trade secrets. Ergo, they come to you to get drivers for their machines, and then they supply them to users. Only, they're pushing out new "refreshes" every six months to a year, which means a "new" model ends up being supported for six months if you're lucky -- after that, OEM's completely ignore it. It might as well have not EVER existed, because that's how they'll treat it. You know this. You know this and you have the power to give users a better user experience by NOT including an arbitrary software flag in your installers that checks the BIOS for whether or not the computer was built by an OEM (which, in 99.9% of cases, it will have been).
It's your job to update the drivers. And you do! That's one of the things I love about you, Intel, is that you ARE on top of supporting your customers, you support them for far, far, FAR longer than other companies do. That's commendable, and rather than backpedaling on it, you should at least CONTINUE offering that. You made $12 billion (with a B) last year. That's PROFITS, that's after you've paid your employees, paid your electric bills, paid your fab water bills, paid your rent, had skanky office parties, and whatever else it is that you do that you consider a "business" expense -- you walked away from 2014 with $12 billion in profit.
There is no reason for you to have these arbitrary limitations on your driver installers. Screw OEMs. They suck at updating drivers, and you know it. We shouldn't have to depend on them, because at the end of the day, they're not the ones DESIGNING the hardware. They're just sticking it all together. YOU'RE designing the hardware, so YOU design the software to get it to work. If I wanted a machine that was time limited and had obsolescence built-in, I wouldn't have bought a PC -- I would've bought an ARM tablet. But I didn't, Intel. I bought an x86 tablet in a world that's wetting itself over the thinner, lighter, sexier ARM tablets. Sure would be a shame for me, and others like me, to change our tune on this because you left us high and dry.