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Dell has since removed the above disclaimer from its website.

Dell directs customers to retail stores if they want AMD systems

AMD-powered Dell Vostro 1000
Dell says goodbye to AMD-based Inspirons on

It appears that the AMD-Dell relationship may soon be coming to an end – at least online. Dell was rumored for years to consider switching to AMD processors for its computers, but the company constantly denied the rumors.

Dell finally broke the news to the world in May of 2006 when it announced that it would sell AMD-based servers to the public. The company followed with AMD-based desktop and notebook computers.

All seemed to be well with the AMD-Dell partnership -- until now. Dell appears to be in the process of removing AMD-powered machines from its website. Although machines like the Latitude D531, Vostro 1000, and Optiplex 740 are still currently available online, Dell put this cautionary note at the top of the search page for anyone looking for an AMD system:

Shop for Dell computers with AMD processors in retail stores. See our retail partners for details.

Computers with AMD processors are not available online.

This move would be a big blow to AMD, which relished the opportunity to partner with a big-name OEM like Dell -- a company that it tried for years to crack.

Customers who wish to purchase AMD-based Dell machines in the future will instead have to go to brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy, Staples, Wal-Mart or Sam's Club. Any exposure is better than none, but Dell derives the vast majority of its sales from its online business so AMD will clearly be missing out.

The news of Dell giving AMD the boot online couldn't come at a worse time for the Sunnyvale, CA-based company. AMD reported 2007 revenue of $6.012 billion and a net loss of $3.379 billion. AMD is still struggling with the remnants of its 2006 purchase of ATI -- ATI is also now worth 30% less than AMD's original purchase price.

Dell has also had a mixed bag of news in the past few months. The computer giant was able to slip past HP as the top computer marker in the U.S. for 2007. Dell commanded 31.4% of the U.S. market last year compared to 26.1% for HP.

On the other hand, Dell announced the decision to close its Canadian call center resulting in the loss of 900 jobs and close all 140 of its Dell Direct Store kiosks around the U.S.

Updated 2/8/2008
We recently spoke with a Dell representative Anne Camden who wished to clarify the recent happenings on Dell's website. First of all, Dell has since removed the "Computers with AMD processors are not available online" disclaimer from its website. Whether this was a slip-up on Dell's part remains to be seen.

Secondly, Dell Latitude, Vostro and Optiplex systems using AMD processors will continue to be made available on Dell's website.

Finally, AMD-based Inspiron notebooks will no longer be offered on Only the Energy Star 4.0 Inspiron 531 desktop lives on through Inspiron notebooks and the rest of the Inspiron desktop family will only be available from retail stores such as Wal-Mart and Staples.

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RE: Whoops
By alan328 on 2/8/2008 9:00:58 AM , Rating: 4
It sounds like the story of the "chicken with golden eggs".... but a even more sad version....
DELL see that AMD laid a golden egg in the morning... so, he buys it... waits the whole day and still cannot see another golden egg, so, he dump AMD when the sun just about to raise....

Wish AMD lays another golden egg soon!

RE: Whoops
By Master Kenobi on 2/8/2008 10:07:19 AM , Rating: 5
Logistics. This sounds like more of a logistics problem. Dell builds to order to the most part. Perhaps they were having a problem getting the number of AMD processors they needed. This way they ship complete systems for sale a retail locations, meaning users can get it same day (if that system is in stock). Intel can likely supply more processors based on demand and Dell finds this better for their online model. Maybe Dell was just having problems stocking enough AMD chips leading to delays with online orders.

I suspect it will be a few days before we find out the exact reasoning behind this move.

RE: Whoops
By Pandamonium on 2/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: Whoops
By Ratwar on 2/8/2008 11:40:23 AM , Rating: 2
Well, it has to be a warehousing problem. Building to order means that you need a large number of parts available in house at any given time. If AMD was unable to provide a constant source of processors, Dell would be forced to drop them, especially if other OEMs (think HP) are getting the first crack at any AMD processors (which is probably what's happening as HP is slightly bigger, and has been in AMD's corner longer).

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