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Skype's decision to release Intel-only features on its newest software refresh may have been a poor idea

Last month we wrote a small piece about the upcoming Skype 2.0 features that are only enabled for Intel processors.  AMD is hoping to add another spear to its ranks by demanding Skype documents that prove or disprove Intel provided incentives to Skype for this favor.  Intel denies the allegations

A Skype executive declined to comment earlier this month when asked whether the company had tested the performance of its software on both Intel's and AMD's dual-core chips. An Intel representative confirmed that there are no instructions that specifically enhance the performance of voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software like Skype's in Intel's dual-core chips.

This is not the first time this year for an AMD-Intel legal battle.  AMD has been building anti-trust cases against Intel in Japan, the US and Korea for over a year, claiming that Intel leverages its buyers and distributors to not carry AMD products.  Of course, AMD's 21.4% marketshare is looking pretty good to the company right now, monopoly or not. 

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RE: Companies...
By Viditor on 3/1/2006 1:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
But Intel hasn't done this, and not even AMD's lead counsel is claiming incentives were definitely offered

Well, no...incentives were certainly given, they just may not have been cash incentives. When you "donate" time and money to optimise code specifically for Skype, that would certainly be an incentive.
AMD does have the option of going to others such as Vonage and have exclusive contracts also

It's tough to see it from the US, but Skype really has no competitor at all. Vonage is exclusively in North America and the UK, while Skype is truly international. Also, Skype's marketshare is several orders of magnitude higher than the nearest competitor.
Is Intel's 80% enough of a monopolistic percentage to effectly create harm to AMD

Without question...even Anand has indicated this in his blog (with several examples of it that he had seen in the marketplace). A good example is when AMD was beginning their Opteron launch with HP as a partner. They gave HP millions of CPUs for a startup and to help offset the penalties Intel was going to impose. Just before the launch, Intel threatened HP and they left those CPUs in the crates at their warehouse. Imagine what would have happened to HP's business if Intel started to delay shipments of parts all of a sudden...! They would have been out of business in 6 months. The head of HP said in a meeting that month that they were cancelling the AMD launch because "Intel has a gun to my head".

By writing code for Skype that ends up restricting the overwhelming leader in the field to Intel processors, Intel has created another barrier to entry for AMD.

What amazes me is how Intel's management could have been so stupid as to actually do this AFTER the suit was filed! Otellini just lost a couple of notches IMHO...

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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