@h @cstanhope @jjg @vertigo
I think you're probably right about that. If you pay attention to the relevant conferences it looks like the trend is going to be that much of what we think of today as systems level software is going to get baked into the hardware so that it's not modifiable except by throwing the gadget away and buying the next generation. It's a consequence of reaching the limits of transistor miniaturization on silicon wafers.
I also expect that Intel won't learn much from ME and will instead just embed the same functionality into the CPU rather than a separate chip, as AMD does. Hardware CPU backdoors will probably continue to be a problem.