AnalysisTwo weeks ago, Intel looked poised to mount a serious challenge to AMD's server processor performance lead. Then the shockers arrived. Dual-core Itanium chip production slowed because of quality concerns. A sophisticated future Xeon processor was cancelled. Plans to unite the Itanium and Xeon lines around a common architecture to make servers more affordable and faster have been pushed out likely until 2009. In short, bad news for Intel customers.
Lingering evidence of the dot-com bust appeared last week as Overstock.com tried to explain an expanding third-quarter loss and a technology disaster. In the good old days, start-ups could dismiss a poor performance with but a smile and few encouraging words. These days, however, internet companies must display a hard-nosed, no nonsense approach to their business.