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MicronPC cuts back on AMD – in public

Business as Usual?

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Update MicronPC is to stop selling AMD-powered machines to small and medium businesses and to government. The company - America's third biggest direct sales PC maker - says the decision to sell Intel-only into these sectors will "streamline our product line, simplifying our customers' buying decisions and reducing our engineering and product development costs".

But what does this mean in practice? AMD says the press release pumped out by Micron "re-affirms the status quo". Micron does not use AMD chips in its commercial or government product lines - and has never used AMD chips in these lines, AMD points out.

But check out the MicronPC.com Web site and you will see that yes indeed the Micron does sell an AMD-powered machine - the Millennia MAX XP2- into the commercial sector. Yes, AMD concedes, this machine is sold into smallish businesses, but the spec is very retail-oriented, it says.

And in an email sent to The Register, Michelle Casey, MicronPC's PR director, writes: "While we have chosen to use Intel for our government and business class computers, we continue to have a good relationship with AMD, and will continue to use both AMD and Intel processers for our consumer and SOHO computer platform -- the Millennia line".

So what is going on here? Today's press release from Micron in effect announces only that the PC maker is dropping the Millennia MAX XP2 as a commercial SKU.

We can guess only that Micron has made Intel a very happy bunny. How much discount-gouging is such a public declaration of fealty worth?

Micron was an Intel-only OEM until September 2000, when it dipped its toe into the consumer sector with some AMD systems promoted through Best Buy retail outlets.

Last month, Tiny Computers, the UK's fourth biggest PC maker, ditched AMD completely. It too began selling AMD systems for the first time in September last year.

And this month, IBM dropped AMD from its US and European build-to-order lines. ®

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