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Intel changes Inside plan to squeeze OEMs using competing chips

Rebates will disappear if non Intel chips used in "family" machines

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An OEM told The Register today that Intel changed its Intel Inside plan this week to put pressure on companies wanting to sell AMD, Cyrix and other competing microprocessors. But Intel was swift to rebut the suggestion, saying that the OEM had possibly misunderstood the programme and should contact his local representative. The OEM, who said he did not want to be named, said: "Until now, Intel refunded 60 per cent of an advert for PCs, as long as the many requirements about the Intel Inside logos were respected AND there was no other CPU brand in the same ad. We can understand that, who would sponsor adverts for the competition." But the rules have now changed, the OEM alleged. "Starting now, Intel is asking for OEMs to declare that in the product range or family of PCs there is no other CPU brand manufactured or offered. If there is any other brand present in the range of products, Intel will contribute zero." He said manufacturers only have two solutions, either to pull off all non-Intel CPUs in an existing range to continue to get marketing funds, or if an OEM wants to offer computers with alternative CPUs, it will have to create a new range of products with a different name or look. "We strongly suspect this is one of the main reasons many large OEMs are loyal to Intel. But it is certainly very unfair to the competition," he said. An Intel representative said that while the terms of its Intel Inside branding exercise were confidential, his understanding of the company's agreement is different. "When you enter the programme, you identify your product lines to Intel," he said. "Above and beyond that, there is no limit to the platforms you bring to market." He claimed that Intel would not impose a zero rebate on cooperative marketing funds given a situation such as the above. "He should go back to his Intel Inside representative," he said. ® See also System builders fear Intel's wrath as K7 launches

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