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Wintel wobbled badly yesterday in the run-up to results, with Intel's stock price dropping 11.6 per cent and Microsoft plunging to a two year low. Intel's Q3s are due today, while Microsoft's Q1s are out tomorrow.

In Intel's case analysts are worried about the AMD-Intel price war, and with AMD making new cuts as the 1.2GHz Athlon and 800MHz Duron start shipping this week. Intel has little to counter this right now, apart from price cuts on the Pentium III and making lots of noise about the Pentium 4. And on top of that there are the general worries about PC sales.

These are hitting Microsoft too, and although the threat of legal apocalypse for the company is currently receding, there's a whole heap of more conventional stuff to worry about instead. Growth in the desktop business is starting to taper off, and it's time for Win2k to deliver. At its analysts meeting last year Microsoft said it didn't expect serious revenue from Win2k until the second half, so they'll be trying to figure out how successful Microsoft has been in selling business the new software.

They'll also be expecting some action from Windows Me, which is a little optimistic, not to say unfair. But you know what analysts are. Microsoft closed yesterday at just over $50, while Intel fell below $36, against a 12-month high of $75. ®

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