Print 28 comment(s) - last by Viditor.. on Feb 10 at 2:24 AM

Core Duo and Pentium D owners can now enjoy conferencing with up to 10 people

This is even more reason to buy an Intel Core Duo or Pentium D processor, right? Intel claims that versions of Skype 2.0 and higher will be able to support conference calls with up to 10 people only if you are using an Intel dual-core processor.

This feature takes advantage of multi-tasking capabilities using Intel's revolutionary new dual-core technology. Without impacting performance, you can make calls while simultaneously running programs such as email, word processing, multimedia applications, virus scan and more.

EETimes reports that even more Intel-specific optimizations are on the way:

The two companies are planning additional feature extensions and optimization of Skype for Intel’s dual-core processors, Skype said. Later this year, Skype will release video calling optimized for Intel dual-core technology, the company added.

So should AMD dual-core owners feel left out? Probably not. It's doubtful that many would be using Skype to conference with 10 anyway. And even if you would pursue the feature, I'm sure that there will be some hack/crack to enable the feature in the near future...

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Grr, unnecessary limitation on functionality
By psychobriggsy on 2/8/2006 1:53:02 PM , Rating: 3
I don't like it when artificial limitations are put on a product for marketing reasons when it harms the consumers using the product.

Either there is code in the latest Skype that will only enable features when a certain CPU is present (which is a nasty artificial limitation when it isn't related to actual CPU grunt, but to branding), or it will actually work on any CPU with the required grunt to do it and it isn't Intel Dual-Core only.

Thing is, the last Skype call I did sounded awful, with audio being dropped all over the place. The interface also sucks. This'll only anger some people who'll look at alternatives.

RE: Grr, unnecessary limitation on functionality
By Questar on 2/8/2006 2:07:30 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, Intel should put people and money on a project, just so another company can benefit.

How dare they make investments that AMD can't benefit from!!

By Ecmaster76 on 2/8/2006 2:25:37 PM , Rating: 3
Well considering they are in court for unfair competition practices, they ought to be careful about this kind of thing.

RE: Grr, unnecessary limitation on functionality
By tfranzese on 2/8/2006 3:25:50 PM , Rating: 3
There's a difference between optimizing and locking out the competition. That distinction is missed by fanboys.

RE: Grr, unnecessary limitation on functionality
By Viditor on 2/9/2006 5:41:47 AM , Rating: 2
There's a difference between optimizing and locking out the competition

Yes, but the rules are different when you have more than 50% of the marketshare (i.e monopoly). Then, even optimizing can be considered a "barrier to entry", which is illegal.

RE: Grr, unnecessary limitation on functionality
By Questar on 2/9/2006 9:38:10 AM , Rating: 2
Your false assumption is that greater than 50% of the market makes a monopoly.

By Viditor on 2/10/2006 2:24:22 AM , Rating: 2
Your false assumption is that greater than 50% of the market makes a monopoly

Yes and no...there are certainly cases where having greater than 50% of the market isn't considered a monopoly (for anti-trust purposes), but this is when the "barrier-to-entry" is very low (called "Natural Monopolies"). That is certainly NOT the case with a semiconductor manufacturer where the cost of Fabs is a HUGE barrier to entry.

The Supreme Court has defined monopoly power as the power to control prices or exclude competition. As a practical matter, such power is measured by the alleged monopolist's share of the relevant market. Absolute monopoly in the economic sense -- 100 percent of the market -- is a rare phenomenon, raising the question of how large a share a firm must possess to come within the statutory concept. Although there is no hard and fast rule, any market share of 50 percent or higher is sufficient to be of concern

Who cares?
By niknik on 2/8/2006 12:35:55 PM , Rating: 2
... Google Talk will eventually make all "skype stuff" irrelevant... :)

That Intel-Only "optimizations" is ridicule. It will just annoy people some more, until it blows right in their face when someone finds a way to make it work on all CPUs.

I still remember liking Skype... until they got bought...

RE: Who cares?
By instagibmo on 2/8/2006 2:19:46 PM , Rating: 3
Have you listened to Skype and Google Talk? The difference in sound quality is night and day (although GT is functional). For that matter no free VOIP service I've found matches Skype's sound quality. Since I have an AMD proc, this sucks. :(

I hope you're right about an all CPU hack....

RE: Who cares?
By Exodus220 on 2/8/2006 4:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't used Google Talk but I have found Skype to be an excellent service for my needs. My fiance is in Russia for the next 4 months and without Skype we would not talk at all because phone cards are much too expensive. I have been pleasantly surprised with the quality and ease of use for Skype. Sure I don't care about the 10 Person Conference because I don't have that many friends on my list, but it is a bummer that companies do that with Intel.

RE: Who cares?
By Jynx980 on 2/9/2006 1:10:52 AM , Rating: 2
Mail order bride? :0

Blown Way Out of Proportion
By Tegeril on 2/8/2006 1:14:46 PM , Rating: 4
Yup! I'll never use Skype now! I mean, all those 10 way conference calls I wanted to do with my AMD processor are now never going to happen!

By segagenesis on 2/8/2006 6:44:45 PM , Rating: 2
... That and obviously Skype must have coded the app in Visual Basic and doublely interpreted in Perl to require a dual core system for 10 users simultaneously. There is this little program called Ventrilo (with great speech quality) that most of us gamers are used to which handles 50 people at once easily on the client side. On a terrible computer.

Hell, last I checked my old 2ghz system could encode mp3's at high quality at 10 times realtime speed. What in the world are they running on Skype?

By jkresh on 2/8/2006 2:36:29 PM , Rating: 2
Looking at the EEtimes article it appears that skype may actualy be disabling features on a amd processor. However, if you look at intels press release I am not sure. I think they are saying it works with Intel Dual core to say that a single core cpu couldnt handle it, not to say that a dual core cpu from another vender would, (why would intel say anything positive about amd in their press release anyway). So I suspect that is being blown out of proportion and nothing actualy is in place to stop it from working on AMD.

RE: Misinterpretation
By Plasmoid on 2/8/2006 3:32:50 PM , Rating: 2
Call me a hopless optimist but i have to agree with you.

2 months ago Intel released SMP patches for Call Of Duty 2 and Quake to give them better performance on there dual-core cpu's, but it worked exactly the same on AMD cpu's (badly in many cases that is)
In that case it really was confusing why Intel did that. After all, the patch supposidly came about because those games were releases on the xbox 360. But the xbox 360 uses an IBM cpu, so Intel would have had no involvement.

Intel did it to boost the sales of there dual core cpu's but they didnt limit the patch to intel chips, after all that would have been difficult and controversial.
Im guessing the exact same thing happened here, but Intel certainly arent going to make mention that AMD chips can do it too, and probably made sure that Skype towed the line.

RE: Misinterpretation
By Griswold on 2/9/2006 6:06:55 AM , Rating: 2
2 months ago Intel released SMP patches for Call Of Duty 2 and Quake

Intel did not release anything. It was the makers of these games who release them (beta) patches 2 months ago. Intel only worked closely with them - have to give them credit for that. No idea why AMD doesnt do stuff like that. However, game producers wont be dumb enough to exclude the AMD user base with pathetic limitations like that. They would hurt themselves too much.

By Lifted on 2/8/2006 1:06:19 PM , Rating: 3
This being the first time I've actually seen the skype interface, I'm wondering what makes it it any different than MSN Messenger or something similar. With Messenger I can have crystal clear full screen video converstations, or audio only if the other person doesn't have a webcam. Does skype sound that much better? I still wouldn't give up the video just for better audio quality anyway, since I already prefer the Messenger audio quality to speaking over a cell phone.

RE: so
By instagibmo on 2/8/2006 2:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
I would assume so. I've never used MSN for voice, but Google Talk, Ventrilo, Team Speak, Xfire, and in-game VOIP don't even come close. Vonage it the only one I've hear that compares but it not free.

By Missing Ghost on 2/8/2006 6:12:59 PM , Rating: 2
What is skype?

RE: ???
By stephenbrooks on 2/8/2006 6:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
The blue bits between the cloupes.

By middlehead on 2/8/2006 12:38:42 PM , Rating: 3
I don't use Skype, and this pretty much guarantees I never will. I don't hate Intel, but I do hate companies that try to force choices that should be irrelevant to them.

Why bother?
By JustAnAverageGuy on 2/9/2006 1:43:50 AM , Rating: 3
Cracked in 3... 2... 1...

Marketing BS...
By DigitalFreak on 2/8/2006 12:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
No reason this would not run on an Athlon 64(x2) just as well or better than a dual core Intel. Glad I don't use skype.

By fishbits on 2/8/2006 1:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be very surprised if AMD dual-core processors were totally blocked out from enjoying 10 user conferencing.
So Intel is blatantly lying, and Skype is allowing them to do so to give the false impression that AMD processor owners won't be able to use the software to its fullest? We're not talking about "Runs best with" or "Optimized for," but you state the claim is only if on an Intel DC.

I don't see a way to evaluate this that puts Intel or Skype in any light but a bad one.

What about with a 2-way system
By johnsaw on 2/8/2006 3:41:32 PM , Rating: 2
Will they work with a regular 2-way system??? If it is just processing power, then they should.

Skype better for diggin´...
By Clauzii on 2/8/2006 3:52:43 PM , Rating: 2
... their own grave if this is true.

It's gotta be artificial
By aliasfox on 2/8/2006 9:32:06 PM , Rating: 2
Apple's had their own IM client out for a few years, called iChat, and it works on the AIM network. The recent versions do audio and video chat- and while I've never had 10 way conference calls before, I've done multi-way audio chats using the program on a PowerBook G4, and while it wasn't perfect, it worked.

If a relatively ancient Motorola G4 (1.5 GHz, 167 MHz FSB) can do multi-way audio chat, I don't see why an Athlon X2 couldn't manage it using Skype.

How pathetic
By Griswold on 2/9/2006 6:04:13 AM , Rating: 2
...using Intel's revolutionary new dual-core technology.

That one made my day. Intel is only 3/4 of a year late with its "revolutionary" dual core tech that puts them back on the map compared to AMD's offering.

However, I love(d) skype, but this could very well be the end of this liaison.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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