Intel vs. AMD: Somebody Call Apple
Before packing his bags for a business trip, The VAR Guy read reports that Sun Microsystems plans to ship servers equipped with Intel chips. Sun isn’t exactly an IT powerhouse these days, but if the reports are true this is a significant inflection point for VARs. Adding insult to injury, the potential Sun/Intel partnership comes one day before AMD announces earnings results. Ouch.
During most of 2005 and 2006, server vendors quietly admitted that AMD’s Opteron processors outperformed rival offerings from Intel. After denying this reality several times, Dell ultimately ate crow in May 2006 and embrace Opteron for selected servers.
Heck, even The VAR Guy was an Opteron fan. In late 2005, he helped AMD launch Accelerate magazine–which promoted Opteron and other AMD technologies to IT executives. Sure, the sponsored content hyped AMD over and over again. But the case studies were real and satisfied AMD customers like Weather.com were eager to be quoted.
Fast forward to 2007, and new Intel product releases coupled with a price war have bloodied AMD. The big winners have been VARs and integrators who focus on multi-core and virtual server software. Whether you chose AMD or Intel, the price has been right in recent months.
Will AMD return fire soon? The company does enjoy drama. AMD VP Kevin Knox actually used a CIO Summit speaking opportunity in 2005 to announce AMD was suing Intel. Perhaps this year he’s working on a move that will catch Intel off guard again.
Of course, most of the major U.S. PC suppliers already offer both Intel and AMD microprocessors. Oh, except for Apple Computer. Hmmm. Now there’s a thought.