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Intel fights back after Compaq attack

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Intel has struck back at Compaq’s unprecedented attack on the Merced processor by insisting that the PC vendor is still committed to the platform. (See other story on the home page - bear with us..) A representative from Intel said: “Compaq has publicly committed to support Merced already, so nothing has really changed.” But a source at Intel who did not wish to be named, went further than that. He said: “We’re talking about a product which has still 18 months to go before it is released and we don’t speculate on its performance. If we’re not in a position to speculate about its performance, neither is Compaq.” He said that Compaq executive Richard George, who yesterday claimed Alpha was a better processor than the Merced and had more software for the platform, was being unfair in that comparison. “You’d expect Alpha to have more software ported than Merced,” he said. “The Alpha chip has been around for five years.” But Rana Mainee, a strategic analyst at rival chip company Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), said that Compaq had to differentiate itself now it had taken over both Digital and Tandem. He said: “It’s no secret the Alpha will be faster than Merced. If Compaq gets its positioning right, it could get a lot of support from the industry. Compaq has always strived to get closer integration in its divisions. “I’d be surprised if having bought into the Alpha platform, they didn’t see it as a big differentiator in that market. This is part of their differentiation. They want to be seen as a computer company and they want to relegate Dell to be a PC company.” Intel is not an investor in The Register and nor is Compaq

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