The launch of Intel?s MMX technology last week will mean a shake-up in the channel, with Gateway 2000 deciding to phase out conventional Pentium systems in favour of the latest chips at the same price. This will leave Compaq and IBM with excess stock, undercut by direct vendors. John Shepheard, country manager of Gateway 2000 UK, said his company has changed its servers, its desktops and its notebooks to match Intel?s new technology. ?Intel is heralding the launch of MMX technology as the most significant technical innovation since the 386. We?ve put our money where our mouth is. ?There are now no non-MMX desktops. Why would someone want a a P166 without MMX when they can get an MMX for the same money? Ask our so-called competitors about their outstanding inventory.? But Big Blue said it will react to Gateway?s pre-emptive strike. A representative at the company said that, although it was holding its fire on responding to Gateway, it had ?plenty of stocks? of MMX chips from Intel. He said IBM had developed new ways of making sure inventory was turned over quickly. Other PC vendors will use clone chips in their machines, it emerged last week. Compaq is likely to use Cyrix chips while a source at the Mitsubishi Electric PC Company said that it was considering using AMD processors that use the MMX extensions licensed from Intel. Cyrix has followed its own route and produced multimedia instruction sets. Meanwhile Compaq is also believed to be flirting with Digital Alpha systems.
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