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Intel's Grove: AMD, Via good for PC industry

PlayStation II not a threat, Wintel alliance pragmatic

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Intel Developer Forum A relaxed Andy Grove, chairman of the Intel Corporation, said today that although competition from AMD and Via was "not always fun", it was, in general, good for the PC industry. Responding to a question from The Register, Grove said that while every business was in business to compete, and therefore that in one sense competitors were enemies, the overall effect was to help the entire PC industry and brought benefits to consumers. He said that the industry included many different companies creating, for example, sub-systems such as graphics, motherboards, storage and memory, all of which had benefited from the increased competition. The whole PC industry had grown because of this. "This has clearly been a beneficial factor in growth and the cost effectivess it has brought to the consumer. Competition has been good for this industry. Not to say it's always been fun," he said. Grove said, on the eve of his keynote speech at the Intel Developer Forum, that his biggest disappointment in 1999 was the supply problems that dogged the company at the end of last year. He said: "Our main disappointment was that we were not able to supply demand in the latter end of the year and so caused problems for some of our customers and their growth." Intel, he said, had good relations with its PC customers and understood the type of problems they had to deal with. In reply to a question about whether the Sony PlayStation II posed a danger to Intel's plans, Grove said: "Something between somewhat and moderate." If there had been a Sony PlayStation II five years ago, he said, when the market was driven by gaming, it would have been dangerous. He said that even if the PlayStation II acquires Internet capability, that would not be true today. But, he said, the graphics capabilities offered by PlayStations was a good incentive for Intel to seek to excel. Grove said that Transmeta's recent announcement of its Crusoe microprocessors had not escaped the corporation, but he thought that Intel's strategy was fundamentally sound. He said: "We absolutely see it [Transmeta] as competition, but we have our own thoughts about competition and we haven't seen anything to cast doubt on our own plans." The relationship between Intel and Microsoft was, is and will be pragmatic, said Grove. "Our relationship with Microsoft has never been a formal alliance. We are two independent companies who found it useful to support each other's initiatives. "Microsoft didn't support our microprocessors because of an alliance, but presumably because it was the highest performance microprocessor on the market," he said. ® The Register will carry a full transcript of the Q&A session with Grove later in the week. IDF Spring 2000: Full Coverage

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