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Sun-AMD alliance tweaks Intel's beard

Head-bone connected to the nose-bone

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Intel is Sun's enemy, and therefore AMD is Sun's friend. Can life be that simple?

In the computer industry, we're very much afraid the answer is 'yes'.

Compaq is Dell's enemy, and Intel is Dell's friend, so the Big Q has always been prepared to give AMD microprocessors a try. 3Com is Intel's enemy because of the network interface card (NIC) marketshare nightmare of a few years back, so AMD is 3Com's friend. Examples of this type of behaviour in the still rather immature PC industry are legion.

According to EBNS, there does seem to be a grain of truth in this theory of alliances, particularly in the case of AMD and Sun.

A piece written last week suggests that Sun Microsystems will include an Athlon processor in its Cobalt Internet server appliance.

Course, we know that Sun is definitely Microsoft's enemy, and probably felt sympathetic to AMD when it decided to use an Intel processor in its eventually up-and-coming Xbox.

And last August, as we reported here, Sun endorsed AMD's Hammer technology for its Solaris operating system. Intel does not like Sun Microsystems and went out of its way to isolate the firm and Solaris from its own Itanium-IA64 project this time last year.

The Cobalt line is a uni-processor system, and AMD is still struggling to make fast chipsets that support dual configurations for its Athlon microprocessors. It needs to do that to make any kind of dent at one level of the corporate market.

We do hear that, so far, AMD has failed to make little headway in corporate accounts here in Europe - except for one particular niche - the education market. Here, people are really constrained by cost and Athlons, Durons and the rest are highly attractive. ®

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