How MS will end the Dell - Intel love-in
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Subject: How MS will end the Dell - Intel love-in
Date: 11/24/2004 6:14:11 AM (GMT-7)
IP Address: 220.127.116.11
Analysis Here's a prediction you don't see everyday. Microsoft will be responsible for ending the monogamous relationship between Dell and Intel. Microsoft will deliver Dell to AMD.
Over the past three years, Dell has hinted time and again that it will pick up AMD's 64-bit Opteron processor. Dell, however, has never actually made the move to AMD, saying it won't do so until customers beg for a second supplier. Well, come mid-2005, Dell's customers may start begging.
In the middle of next year, AMD will beat Intel to market with a dual-core 64-bit x86 processor. Intel isn't expected to match AMD with a similar product until the first quarter of 2006. That gives AMD at least six months to pound away on the singular message that it's the obvious choice for Microsoft customers - or at least those Microsoft customers that care about the price of their software.
Microsoft recently beat out most of its software rivals by declaring that it will recognize dual-core processors as a single chip in per processing pricing schemes. This licensing policy applies to SQL Server, Biz Talk Server, Commerce Server, Content Management Server, Host Integration Server, Identity Integration Server, Speech Server and Internet Security and Acceleration Server. Opteron server customers will be able to pay for a two-processor license on these products and essentially run the software on four processor cores. Intel server customers won't enjoy the same advantage for several months. So, if you're in the market for a box to run MIcrosoft software, there's a pretty compelling reason for you to give an Opteron-based box a go.
If you're in the market specifically for 64-bit kit, the move to Opteron becomes even more compelling. Microsoft said in July that customers can move from 32-bit Windows Server 2003 to a 64-bit version of the OS at no charge. A production version of the 64-bit operating system should arrive in the first-half of 2005 - just in time for the release of the dual-core Opteron.
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