Intel has invested US$24 million in seven software companies building products in areas it sees as important to its future, mostly to do with cloud-based services, the company has announced.
The company's Intel Capital division has invested in cloud automation vendor DynamicOps, building management software provider enLighted, real-time analytics provider Guavus, platform-as-a-service vendor IP Commerce, and social games analytics provider Swrve New Media.
Intel Capital has also made follow-on investments in predictive analytics company Revolution Analytics and streaming media company Gaikai. It didn't say how much in invested in each company.
Software is becoming more strategic to Intel as it tries to ensure its microprocessors remain important in markets beyond traditional client/server environments. Trends like cloud computing and mobile computing are shaking up the technology landscape and requiring Intel to work with developers and customers in new ways.
"It's essential that Intel invests in software to ensure development and innovation happens on our hardware," Doug Fisher, general manager of Intel's Systems Software Division, told press and analysts at a briefing on the company's software strategy on Thursday.
The company has been involved with software development for years, he stressed, in areas such as optimizing OSes and codecs for its hardware, and offering tools that let developers make use of new capabilities in its chips.
But in recent years it has stepped up its activities. Two years ago it bought embedded OS Wind River, and this year it acquired security software vendor McAfee, for example.
Intel Capital made 119 investments last year worth $327 million, Intel said. About 44 percent of those investments were outside North America, it said, although all the investments announced Thursday are in U.S.-based companies.