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Intel dual core launch is no big deal at all

Opinion Today is DC day
Mon Apr 18 2005, 10:16
INTEL IS TAKING A HUGE step backward today with the dual core Pentium 4 launch. Word out of Intel HQ is that one of the dictats of the post Barrett order is to under promise and to over deliver. The other new order is no spin. Intel is about to fail miserably and publicly on both accounts. What a way to welcome Otellini in and set the tone.

The dual core launch is barely not vapor for availability, over promises and under delivery, and comes with so much spin it could power an amusement park for a year. It steps on partners by playing favourites, and does all this as a cynical PR play.

Let's start as we mean to go on. The worst kept secret in the business is today's dual core launch, it was pre-announced by everyone under the sun. Intel is desperate not to be seen by the press as being beaten again, 1GHz, 1.13GHz, iAMD64 and DDR must really have taught Intel a lot. Sadly, not many of these lessons appear to have sunk in during class. Perhaps the pupils were staring out of the window.

What readers of the INQ know is that AMD has been shipping dual cores for months to customers, and they are in the field, and in use. AMD beat its own date by months, but have not been crowing about it. I called the usual suspects, and no one apart from a favoured few OEMs had them a few days before the launch. Some said that it was no big deal, they expect to sell a few EEs, others were a little more vocal saying that they hadn't even received engineering samples, much less had things to sell.

So, Intel is putting out a ultra low volume window dressing toy for the benefit of people like me, not for you. The EE will launch, but when will they launch the 866 and 933, I mean the 3.0 and 2.8?

Could there be any more problems? Sure, how about availability? With shades of the bad old days of late 2003 and early 2004, how much do you want to bet that you can count to the number of units that the blessed favoured vendors have on hand? Want to bet that they will finally have real quantities about the time Intel was going to release the chip in the first place? This cuts into sales of existing CPUs while the vain and stupid rich wait for availability. Lets hear it for hot lots sent to PR.

So you lose current sales, tee off customers and partners, and all for a smile from the people in the press who actually do know better. Who thought up this plan, and why do they still have a job?

The funniest part of this all is that not only did AMD beat Intel in shipping chips to end users, but so did IBM and HP. By any objective measure, PA-RISC and Power have had dual core out for over a year, so even without AMD, you are at best number three. AMD has had product for a quarter, and Intel is standing up, waving its hands and shouting 'look at me'. It's going to be a wonderful Monday but we do hope it's not full of fawning moronic reviews followed by months of wait. Please don't let this trend continue. µ

 

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