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January 15, 2006

Dell cagey about AMD-inside rumors

Dell Inc has played down rumors that it is to ship computers with chips from Advanced Micro Devices Inc rather than Intel Corp, but it fell short of an outright denial.

By CBR Staff Writer

Round Rock, Texas-based Dell exclusively uses Intel microprocessors in its machines today. But two weeks ago Dell chairman Michael Dell said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that there is a distinct possibility of shipping AMD-powered systems. Then early last week Dell’s CEO Kevin Rollins told reporters he was open to selling computers powered with AMD chips.

But speaking to ComputerWire on Friday, Josh Claman, vice president and general manager of Dell’s UK operation, played down the AMD story, saying that, [Rollins] would have said the same thing a year ago, and he would have said the same thing two years ago.

Claman noted that Dell has for a long time had AMD chips in its labs for testing and comparison purposes, but that does not mean it is about to ship them in its computers. We have made no statement that we are moving to AMD, he said. These are rumors. However, he stopped short of ruling out AMD-powered machines altogether. If there was a certain price point, or a certain product line-up where it really makes sense, then we would do it, he said.

It is possible, of course, that Dell is not ruling out a switch to AMD because by refusing to do so it keeps Intel on its toes, and gives Dell more bargaining power when it next comes to negotiate its hefty volume discounts.

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