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|Apparent signs of the fainting love between Intel and Microsoft are starting to leak: The two giants are not in love anymore and the software king's relationship with AMD is getting more like an engagement than a short term flirt...
Jack Russell in "Is the Wintel alliance falling apart?" informed us here about the economic reasons that were pushing the Redmond firm out of a conjugal nest which lasted for about a decade.
The change in the computing market was probably the strongest factor of the two old time lovers' breakup. On the system side first, Windows' monopoly was cracking under the Linux increasing weight while, on the CPU's front, the visibility was getting notably blured. From stable Intel x86 market, it started changing at a fast pace, to a processor mayhem where the mass market would be meeting the upper-end one, still hermetically secured by some chip gods like Sun, Cray and IBM.
The situation was getting pretty tough. Intel chose to challenge the 64-Bit's big names with some kind of pretentious revolution named Itanium, while AMD, thanks to years of beating, decided to build up a bridge between the ending 32-Bit world and the coming '64-Bit for all' world. This would be done, with a new breed of processor capable of addressing each world with the same efficiency and no emulation at all.
Smartly weaving a silent path between the two market, AMD's move was considered by Intel as an odd one. You don't challenge Gods with a Ganesh type of CPU, human body with an elephant head!
This message have been repeated, since the start, by intel propaganda loud voice. AMD's strategy was headed to nowhere and Itanium was the only path to the 64-Bit generation... We know the bottom line: billions of dollars invested by buddies Intel and HP and a appaling score of few thousand units sold within a year.
Microsoft have been witnessing the movie from the start and did invest also in the born dead Itanium's with 64-Bit tools and systems to support the animal.
As pragmatic as usual, Microsoft quietly started to invest in challenger's offspring too, thanks to some kind of affinity between Jerry Sanders, former AMD's CEO and Bill Gates, former Microsoft's CEO, both, still very involved in their respective company.
The climax of Gates/Sanders' collaboration happened when Jerry Sanders accepted to be key witness, in the US States vs. Microsoft lawsuit, in favor of his software partner-to-be as related here.
But we have more evidence of Microsoft change of mind than this peculiar Justice episode. Proofs are stacking up to say that Microsoft involment in x86-64 is not just a short time passion. Both partners have been tying bonds to the state of no return as explained below:
1 - Technical datas on Microsoft site
A search on specific keywords at Microsoft site reveals the size of Microsoft technical involment in developing tools for Opteron and Athlon 64. For instance, search on AMD64 here is enlightening enough...
2 - WinHEC 2003 - Presentations - Link
The Windows Hardware Engineering Conference is the Microsoft Windows' mass and every smart words about the magic OS is kept for this event. Developers from arounds the world are joining, to catch the latest and most insightful details on the upcoming developments. This year, AMD's Opteron is undoubtly one of the guest star as revealed by the agenda:
Tuesday, May 6 - 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Designing for Manageability in a Line of AMD Opteron-based Servers
Tuesday, May 6 - 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Technical Details of Microsoft Windows on AMD64 Platforms
3 - WinHEC 2002-2003 - Sponsors
This major event has every year notorious sponsors that are joining the feast with some technical and financial participations. The comparison of the 2002 and 2003's sponsors' list tells more than a long speech. Intel hasn't decided to sponsored the 2003 conference for undisclosed reasons that looks more like a breakup than a fortuitous oversight...
Under the light of these evidences,one can hardly contest than Microsoft's support of AMD next chip's is not just obvious, but strong enough to have resisted to naysayers' pressure. Now this crucial chapter of AMD x86-64 is written down and we'll have to see if the next will spell success. But that's another story...
|2002 Winhec Sponsors|
|Microsoft, AMD... A love story?|
|2003 Winhec Sponsors|
|Guess who's missing?|
|"Itanium surname is
Itanic... Guess why!"
|"You don't challenge Gods with a Ganesh type of CPU, human body with an elephant head!"|