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AMD and Microsoft connection still unclear

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Two Comdexes ago, Dana Krelle, the charismatic VP poached from Nexgen, told The Register why it had taken a share in Digital Anvil and how AMD had the DirectX code before anyone else. We listened dutifully, and then were surprised a little last Spring when Microsoft announced it had taken some equity in the company too. We have assiduously followed the tracks of AMD, Microsoft -- and Compaq too -- for many years and think there's more to this than meets the eye. Compaq, for example, had a share in Nexgen. But then Nexgen was bought by AMD. Eckhard Pfeiffer, the CEO of Compaq, has always secretly favoured AMD after the infamous bustup with Intel he had at an Etre conference, exclusively reported here (The Register No. 5). Now we learn from Digital Anvil's Web Site that we'll have to wait until late summer of this year to see what their games are like. Are they exclusively aimed at the K7 market? Is Intel really so much at loggerheads with Microsoft that the Great Stan of Software is cutting the Stan of Chips out of the equation? And why are the AMD K7 and Compaq's Alpha platform so similar? And what, exactly, is the Texas connection? Three years ago, in The Register No. 23 and No. 22, we revealed how AMD executive Terry Smith rode a Harley Ziff Davidson all the way from Austin to Compaq's HQ near Houston with a special gift for Eckhard Pfeiffer...a 100MHz am486... That was when Nexgen was bought by AMD and Dana Krelle and Vin Dham started their chip doodling. ®

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