Intel Corp’s long-awaited launch of the Pentium II microprocessor took place in Manhattan Wednesday amid a festive atmosphere and no talk of flaws or anything else that might detract from the product’s carefully cultivated image. With a large contingent of PC manufacturers, software companies and corporate proponents cheerleading, Intel brass took the stage and began demonstrations of the new processor’s power in running graphically rich and complex applications. But without directly comparing the performance of the new chip with that of Intel’s older generation processors, it was difficult to see the difference Pentium II makes. Indeed, some of the 20 or so companies conducting software demonstrations at the event were quick to point out that the applications they were showcasing could be run with earlier processors, but are quicker and look prettier with Pentium II and MMX technology. As far as the alleged flaw in Pentium II and Pentium Pro chips that has been widely publicized, shaking Intel’s share price, the company says it has given its engineers until Friday to analyze the situation. An announcement will likely be made then on the results of the investigation. Intel claims that it has already shipped 100,000 of the new processors to its OEM partners. As reported (CI No 3,155) Intel is pricing the 233-megahertz chip at $636, the 266-megahertz unit at $775, and the 300-megahertz unit – due in the third quarter – at $1,981. Prices are for quantities of 1,000 and up.