The last ‘Intel-only’ PC maker, Dell, has finally given in to sustained consumer pressure and announced that it will use AMD processors in its high-end servers.
Dell, the world’s leading PC vendor, has been Intel’s closest ally and, despite market pressure in recent years has refused to use AMD’s ground-breaking 64bit processors. The decision to finally implement AMD’s Opteron server processors is seen as a victory for AMD.
Dell attributed its U-turn to mounting customer pressure, but argued that the limited use of AMD in one server segment would not impact on its relationship with Intel. To that end, Dell has played down the dropping of its ‘Intel-only’ policy, mentioning the AMD alliance only in the release of its recent financial results.
Speaking about the decision, Dell founder Michael Dell was careful not to ruffle any feathers.
“We’re going to bring the best technology to the market,” he claimed. “If you look at the history of our company, we have asserted a position of delivering great value and service to our customers for the past 22 years.”
Referring to the success of AMD in high-end server markets, he added: “There was clear acceptance [of AMD solutions]. AMD was very successful.”
Kevin Rollins, chief executive of Dell, said: “It’s a fairly small category in terms of units. We will still be launching a broad line of Intel products. We think we’ve got a winning combination of bringing great technology to all customers.”
Marty Seyer, AMD senior vice-president, commercial business, was less hesitant about the alliance. “We welcome Dell, and Dell customers, to the world of AMD64,” he said. “We’re pleased to see that it is listening to its customers and providing them with the choice of innovative AMD products. We look forward to working closely with Dell in bringing the benefits of our leadership in performance-per-watt solutions to its customers.”
AMD has rapidly become a contender in the server space, thanks to its Opteron 64bit processor. During the first quarter of this year, the company increased its share of the x86 server market to 22.1 per cent, up from 16.4 per cent in Q4 2005, according to Mercury Research.
On the stock markets, Dell’s share rose 3.4 per cent on the news of a deal with AMD, while AMD’s shares jumped more than 13 per cent. Intel’s shares dropped five per cent.
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