“Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”

This memo from an AMD Executive Vice President, cited by Robert McLaws, makes me want to buy a new PC with an AMD processor. Sure, Core 2 Duos might be faster, but I’d rather back a company that’s trying to think months or years ahead, because they’re more likely to satisfy their customers that way.

Go read the whole thing.

19 thoughts on ““Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”

  1. My current, and previous, PCs have both been AMDs. I’ve been very happy with them, although I bought my most recent PC only a couple of months before there were AMD multiprocessor machines that supported PCI Express (so I’m “stuck” with an AGP machine). I’ve toyed with the idea of making my next machine a Core 2, but things like this always stay my hand.

  2. AMD’s customers are OEMs mostly; they’re a parts supplier. We need Dell, Gateway, HP, IBM, Acer, etc. to commit to a quick Vista upgrade internally, so they can either bask in the glory of their well-vetted drivers or die a painful company-wide blue-screen death.

  3. I go to a local “tech shop” to have my PC’s built. They build both Intel and AMD based, but have always recommended AMD. I’ve always been happy with the results.

    The machine that Voodoo is building for me now (I won it in an MVP BlogRocker contest) is an AMD Athlon 64 X2-4600+ Dual Core Processor with 2 Gig Crucial DDR-400LL Memory Kit. There is no way I was going to select Intel after all these years using AMD. It should be ready for shipping soon.

  4. Personally, AMD would be mad to deploy Vista corporate-wide before testing it thoroughly, which may well take till SP1 comes out. While AMD’s internal memo sounds enthusiastic it’s not like they’re going to deploy vista company-wide….so a few of their big wig ‘top’ end company execs get vista. Big whoop…..all those people ever touch are power-point presentations and excel/word spreadsheets if that even.

    As Chris Pirello has already pointed out, there’s a lot of legacy stuff that just ain’t working right on window, to speak nothing of a lot of custom tools that are developed in-house that may easily be rendered useless with Vista.

    Otellini is right…no one who does any ‘REAL’ work on their boxes will be in a rush to upgrade anytime soon. 🙂

  5. Sorry, evilkat, but that’s BS.

    What’s so magical about SP1? If the company has legacy stuff that doesn’t work on a new Windows version, they need to fix it. If they have devices that don’t have Vista drivers, they need to update those. Any company that is willing to make a commitment to a platform shift can manage the process. Otellini’s approach is pure passivity.

  6. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying wait for SP1 for the SAKE of waiting for it! I have no doubt MS will release any significant update that’s due in good time, but we can’t say what’s special about SP1 until we SEE what SP1 has to offer.

    The current state of driver readiness, is in fact not entirely microsoft’s fault (if at all)…it lies with 3rd party manufacturers simply writing bad drivers/buggy code (which to a certain degree is expected), and not being ready on time for Vista (which is unacceptable, given the fact that ship dates were known since lord knows when). For example Nvidia (or the completely re-worked soundstack which breaks EAX and turns off HW acceleration unless you install that weird file from Creative on a PER game basis!).

    As for companies needing to fix their in-house stuff, yes they DO need to fix it…and it’s not going to happen overnight. They’re certainly not dependent on Vista for anything unlike Nvidia and others, and so can take their time. Why? Because OS migration is NOT a big priority and IT departments in places I’ve worked at rarely ever test what developers in the company have written. So you have to get devs to take time away from their current projects to devote time for testing their legacy code for an OS migration!

    Now, AMD is in the chip manufacturing business, and although Windows is probably the most widely deployed piece of software on the planet, I have my doubts as to how much they can truely ‘optimize’ for Vista in particular without also optimizing/breaking other apps. In short, them deploying Vista company wide is not going to help them design better chips…seems like a massive PR stunt to either show MS how committed they are, or one-up Intel.

    If they were a software firm, heavily dependent on Vista as their primary OS, then I can see how deploying Vista comany wide coud help.

    But at this early stage, there’s really very little reason to. Eventually though, u’d want to end up with Vista for it’s security features/built in search I guess.

    So here’s a question for everyone, what makes Vista such a compelling upgrade to you?

    -Gadget bar/flip 3D?
    -DX10 for games?
    -Additional Security?
    -Search from anywhere? (can be added to XP!)
    -Snazzier start menu? (can be added to XP!)
    -‘nomad’ command line?
    -Ad-hoc networks?
    -Resolution independent icon/font scaling?

    I mean what features REALLY make you WANT to go out and buy Vista?

  7. I’m running Vista Ultimate at home and Vista Enterprise at work. It hasn’t been without its frustrations on both the hardware drivers and software support side, but one thing that has worked well? My AMD hardware – both CPUs and (ATI) GPUs.

  8. Sorry but Intel is right on this one. Smart Businesses deply based on need and budget constraints. Intel obviously has Vista deployed were it is needed on the desks of those who are ensuring Vista compliance. It is completely absurd to expect that every desk in the company to have to have Vista. That sounds like Microsoft Marketing to me.

    What is spoken in that memo is the cold hard truth businesses are not rapidly upgrading to Vista. I know I work for an OEM and have for over 15 years. I still have clients on Windows 2000 and the one’s on XP are not going anywhere, anytime soon. Upgrading to Vista is an incredible expesive at the pricing Microsoft has laid out. So much for Activation bringing down pricing. Sorry to say but if anyone chooses to not use Intel because of them speaking the truth there is not much more I can say.

  9. Andrew, you completely miss the point.

    Both Intel and AMD have huge bases of customers. Their business customers are going to be slow to upgrade, as always, but the customers that drive their business are enthusiasts and early adopters. Those are the ones who pay the premium prices for new processors and new motherboards and who, not coincidentally, run new operating systems. Robert’s point is that a company that is going to produce leading-edge products needs to actually lead. If Intel isn’t going to actually use the products its best customers are adopting today, how can it expect to understand their needs or their pain points?

  10. That is a Myth that Enthusiasts drive their markets least of all Intel. Intel makes all it’s money of millions of boards with integrated graphics that go into machines like Dell’s optiplexs. I know I sell machines and enthusiasts sure as hell don’t pay my bills. Enthusiasts and early adopters are a miniscule amount of business. If anything they are a royal pain in the ass since they break components (overclocking) and commonly blame the wrong cause of a problem.

    Did Intel state they have no Vista Machines running at Intel? Or did they state they are not migrating fully over to Vista simply because Microsoft wants them to. This is the real question. I really don’t see the problem except that they are stating the reality of the situation no one wants to except. Intel has the market share they have for a reason.

    Intel’s leading end parts make good marketing and help win the online Internet war against AMD but it most certainly does not drive their bottom line.

  11. Andrew, you need to go take some business classes.

    For all hardware companies, the highest-margin products – the ones the companies make the most money on – are the ones that enthusiasts buy. A hardcore gamer will pay $500 or more for a video card when it’s new and hot. That engineering eventually finds its way into the low-margin commodity products a year or two later, but it was the enthusiasts who subsidized its development.

    If Intel and AMD had to charge commodity pricing on every product from day one, you and I would pay a lot more for computers. AMD understands that. Intel apparently doesn’t.

  12. Ed, you need to do some volume businesss before you make inaccurate assumptions.

    The small amount of money Intel makes on it’s highest margin products doesn’t hold a candle to the tons of money they make through volume sales. At any given month Intel has a price point on it’s CPUs for a certain few CPUs that they want to move in mass. These are not the high end and not even close. They are a mid range part. We rarely sell a high end part, maybe 1 in a thousand.Those high end parts are there for a lot of reasons. Mainly for marketing. What enthusiasts buy or say they buy which are two different things has little to no influence on the PC market contrary to the online hysteria. Video cards have nothing to do with CPUs, the same engineering is in the slower speed Core2 Duo as the higher speed part. AMD bet on the enthusiast market for years and still has not been able to do much to Intels market share because Intel focuses on businesses needs first. If you think for a minute some enthusiast out there is subsidizing your CPU pricing I have a bridge to sell you.

  13. You’re still not getting it, Andrew.

    Those high-end parts are not “there for marketing,” as you say. They are there early at high prices because they are expansive to design and build and test. Those high-end products from two years ago are the cheap commodity products you’re talking about.

    And that leads to the point that Intel should be paying more attention to early adopters and enthusiasts because that will allow the products to trickle down to commodity usage more quickly.

  14. With CPUs it comes down to good yields. The top of the line CPUs are simply high yield parts that can clock that high cut from the same wafer that the mid range parts come from. They are not two year old parts. There is nothing to “trickle down” because Intel doesn’t have the production yet to bring those out in volume. Manufacturing improvements is what eventually brings the prices down on the highest end parts, sometime they never come down and are simply replaced with new high end parts. Thus they never “trickle down”.

    Yeah Intel is in the video graphics industry “big time” but I don’t think enthusiasts are buying them nor are those parts high end. Those are high volume, high yield mid to low range graphics found in systems like optiplexs.

    You apparently don’t sell or deal with hardware much, let alone in volume.

  15. Andrew, I know about semiconductor yields. I edited a magazine for the semiconductor manufacturing industry earlier in my career where the focus was all about yields.

    I have a new high-end Dell XPS. It has integrated Intel graphics. So what’s your point?

    I’m not sure why you keep bringing up all these red herrings. The real issue is that Intel’s public statements and private actions indicate they don’t really care about Vista. AMD’s actions indicate they do. All the rest of the noise in this comment thread is irrelevant.

  16. I couldn’t find a high-end Dell XPS with integrated graphics but I did find a low end one. Your typical “enthusiast” does not use integrated graphics. They actually loudly mock it.

    Intel’s public statement said they are not going to upgrade INTEL to Vista until SP1, they did not say they were going to ignore Vista or not support it ie: really don’t care about Vista. They obviously have to support it like they have each time before another Windows OS was released. Intel cares as much as the market dictates they should care not how much Microsoft wants them to.

    So what are you saying people should not buy Intel because they are not mass migrating to Vista as a company ASAP? Or are you stating that they are not going to support their products on Vista because if you are I would like to know where they stated that.

  17. Andrew, there is no “low-end” XPS from Dell. XPS is their high-end line. Their SFF XPS box uses integrated graphics.

    Again, you’re talking red herrings here. I think we’re beginning to talk past each other, so let’s just agree to disagree. I’m disappointed in Intel’s lack of public commitment to the Vista platform, you don’t agree with my point of view. Done. If you want the last word, take it. 

  18. You are attempting to dismiss my comments without addressing them by calling them irrelevant. Lets recap you are endorsing purchasing AMD over Intel because Intel publicly stated that they are not upgrading every Intel desktop PC being used at Intel Corp. to Windows Vista until SP1 is released. This does not mean that Intel does not have machines already running Vista in their driver and engineering departments, only that departments like HR, Accounting ect.. will not be on Vista ASAP. Then you are implying Intel “does not care about Vista” thus further implying they will not or not be able to properly support Vista. There is absolutely no logical reason or precedent that Intel Corp must company wide upgrade every desktop to Vista ASAP to properly support Vista. Where is the “red herrings”? Say every desktop right now is running Windows XP how do they continue to support Windows 2000 or Linux? I don’t believe Intel has to company wide upgrade to Vista to even remotely properly support it or be “committed to it”. Intel has a proven history of supporting all major operating system releases from Microsoft with their products.

    As for the Dell’s XPS line there is a big difference from where they start until where they end in not only performance but price. You only see integrated graphics on the lowest priced entry level XPS. While a decent PC it is not what most enthusiasts would consider a true “Enthusiast PC”.

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