The Race . . .

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Here we have someone from AMD saying that Windows XP 64bit Edition for AMD64 will be available “before the second half of next year.” and pretending it is their work.

That surely sounds somewhat later than Q1 2004, which had been the estimated date earlier, to me.

Is this a big deal?

Well, this indicates it could become a real problem.

The article shows estimated AMD CPU shipments through next June. It shows Hammer-based CPUs being roughly 25% of production in Q1, and a bit over 70% of production in Q2.

Kind of hard to sell five million CPUs in three months if you don’t have an OS that enables its biggest feature for them. Especially to OEMs, who have to be selling systems for AMD to sell that many.

Yes, you could sell WindowsXP, 32-bit, but that defeats much of the purpose of buying a Hammer, doesn’t it? Especially if it’s a very high-priced Hammer.

Yes, I suppose you could give OEM customers a rain ticket for the “right” OS, but MS and the OEMs would at the least want to get paid extra to handle that, and it is rather inconvenient to customers, who might wonder why they can’t get the proper OS for a product that will be over six months old by that point.

It is not unreasonable to expect that some OEMs might just want to wait a bit until Windows is in place so they can offer a finished package.

You may say that none of these would represent a problem for enthusiasts. That’s probably true. It had better be true for AMD to sell what they make the next few months.

But when production cranks up, you can’t sell five million processors in three months to just enthusiasts. There aren’t that many, at least not at the likely price ranges for these CPUs. Even this audience, which ought to be considered “enthusiasts.” more often that not wants to see Windows for AMD64 around before they buy.

No, you have to sell to OEMs, and it could well be a tough sell.

I don’t know how flexible AMD’s manufacturing lines are, but if MS doesn’t produce the goods until around June, AMD is likely to be faced with a number of unpleasant possibilities.

It will be important to keep an eye on how Windows for AMD64 progresses in the months ahead.



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