Michael Dell: AMD environment "too fragile"

In the past Dell has said AMD's inability to deliver the goods was the problem, but incompatibility is the main concern, ZDNet Editor, Richard Barry, reports
Written by Richard Barry, Contributor

Dell, the world's leading PC manufacturer, finally ended the debate regarding its choice of microprocessors Thursday when CEO, Michael Dell, outlined his concerns over AMD's microprocessors.

In an interview held in London, Dell told ZDNet UK News that although AMD was making good progress with its processor range, the technology it offered "was too fragile" for Dell customers. Asked if by 'too fragile' he meant there were incompatibility issues with AMD architecture Dell said, "Yes, and that's vital."

Describing some of his customers as being at the "lunatic fringe" of computer use -- those users who are happy to remove and replace peripherals such as sound or video cards -- Dell said: "We found the AMD environment to be much more fragile... than equivalent Intel systems." He went on, "These are system issues that underlie the integrity of our own brand."

The comments are damaging to AMD which has invested much time and effort in building up the Athlon brand. But Dell did not stop there. Fielding questions about his company's long term allegiance to Intel, he went on, "I don't give a whatever about whose chip I use... what matters to us is that we deliver to our customers something that is reliable and it's not just the processor. The chipset is just as important and that needs to be addressed (by AMD)."

AMD is preparing a response to Dell's comments. That response, plus analyst and industry reaction will be posted before 2pm today on ZDNet UK News.

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