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November 9, 2005

Dell raises eyebrows by selling AMD silicon

Dell Inc has stirred a storm of speculation by selling products from Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Texas-based computer maker, which exclusively sells Intel Corp chip-based systems, is keeping closed-lipped on its recent move, except to say it is meeting customer demand.

Dell is constantly evaluating new technologies and at the present time we don’t have AMD processor-based systems in our portfolio, said a Dell spokesperson. As for any other industry speculation, we won’t be able to comment on that.

The move has befuddled the industry. Theories range from Dell testing customer demand ahead of a new AMD-powered product launch to Dell removing itself, at least in appearance, away from its chief chip supplier Intel. After all, Dell is embroiled in a massive lawsuit from AMD that alleges Intel used illegal tactics to corner its king’s share of the market.

AMD also declined to comment on the gossip. AMD spokesperson Jo Albers said the AMD chips on Dell’s Web site is not necessarily indicative of any particular change of our relationship or direction.

In other words, the two companies haven’t inked a deal. So, strike the theory that Dell is readying to build new AMD-powered computers.

Albers did say, however, that she understood Dell to have recently purchased a distribution company, but didn’t have all the facts on that.

Dell declined to comment on the topic, which it characterized as rumor.

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Still, the notion that Dell is merely trying to offload excess inventory seems plausible. After all, Dell is selling AMD’s Athlon processors, which are of little use to existing Dell customers looking to upgrade because they can only be dropped onto Intel motherboards.

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