Intel a services company? Sizzling announcement coming to you from IDF!

Do not attempt to adjust your screen. And since April Fool’s Day is over, this is not a silly prank to see if you are paying attention. No, this is a real and true report coming to you straight from the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai, China, where today Intel announced it would begin offering software testing and validation services to members of the Intel Software Partner Program.

Did I say services? From a hardware company? What’s up with that?

Well, Intel has entered into a key partnership with SpikeSource, a software validation solution provider. The deal is that software companies, many of whom are medium in size or who develop open source solutions, can now receive Intel certification that ensures their solutions meet “rigorous standards for security, interoperability and maintainability, and are optimized for Intel technologies.” (I took that directly from the release).

I sat down for a brief conversation with SpikeSource CEO Kim Polese to get her perspective on this new service and how it will benefit both the software community and the end customers who rely on software in their everyday jobs and lives. (You all remember Kim, right? Think Java.).

Wow, maybe it’s the coffee here (I’ve made it no secret how I feel about it) but once again I’m a little giddy with the important implications of this announcement. Intel’s partner program reaches over 8,000 independent software vendors (ISVs) and I can see this service being a major benefit to developers so they can focus what they do best: developing cool software.