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Vision is AMD's attempt to simplify PC marketing for consumers

A few years back when a consumer went shopping for a new computer the thing that was advertised most was how fast the CPU was. The so-called gigahertz wars gave way ultimately to other naming conventions when PC makers reached the limit of being able to claim the fastest processors.

Today consumers aren’t as concerned about how fast the processor in their PC is or how much RAM it has as they are about what the computer is capable of doing. To help better communicate what the computer is capable of to shoppers; AMD has announced a new marketing scheme for its systems called AMD Vision.

AMD reports that Vision will communicate the value of the system as a whole and demonstrate the combined processing power of the CPU and GPU for the benefit of mainstream PC users. Vision will emphasize how AMD machines are optimized for video, digital media, and content creation activities and describe what types of things can be enjoyed on the system and help the shopper make better decision on what computer will best meet their needs.

“Today’s consumer cares about what they can do with their PC, not what’s inside,” said Nigel Dessau, CMO of AMD. “They want a rich HD and entertainment experience on their PC, delivered by the combined technology of AMD CPUs and GPUs, without having to understand what gigahertz and gigabytes mean. VISION technology from AMD reflects the maturation of marketing in the PC processing industry and communicates the technology in a more meaningful way.”

AMD reports that notebooks with Vision Technology will be on store shelves in time for the holiday shopping season and timed to launch along with the Windows 7 launch. That should put the machines hitting market in mid-October.

“We are excited for the upcoming launch of Windows 7, when our OEM partners will introduce some exciting new PCs that match our mutual customer’s needs and feedback,” said Mike Ybarra, general manager of Windows Product Management at Microsoft Corp. “Coupled with VISION Technology from AMD, customers can feel confident that the PC they purchase will deliver a rich, tailored PC experience.”

AMD has already unveiled its new notebook platforms that will feature Vision Technology with next generation graphics, Blu-ray, and 3D gaming capability. There are three levels of Vision Technology that represent different levels of performance. These three levels include Vision Basic, Vision Premium, and Vision Ultimate. AMD also plans to offer a fourth level of Vision called Vision Black in Q1 2010 to represent the highest level of performance for enthusiasts.

“We focus our attention on R&D and marketing communications to users that identify themselves with state-of-the-art and innovative products that can simplify life through technology,” said Gianpiero Morbello, Marketing and Branding Corporate Vice President of Acer, Inc. “VISION Technology from AMD represents an innovative PC usage and we are always ready to offer a superior visual experience to our customers for advanced HD video entertainment.”

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no one wants basic
By surt on 9/10/2009 12:50:48 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with these kinds of programs is that no one wants to buy the lowest level, so you always have one less real level to sell. So now AMD is selling two levels of performance. Meanwhile, in reality, there is a whole range of performance to choose from, and consumers will be bilked as they pay a wide range of prices for computers in one 'category', and in some cases get a good result, and in others, feel robbed.

And then of course, performance and what you can do are moving targets. Adding one more 'black' level buys you maybe a year. Do you then start shifting the levels down, making an 'ultimate' computer the low end? Why is an 'ultimate' computer low end? That doesn't make any sense. So instead you move the levels up? But then you have confusion in the marketplace, because last years ultimate and this years ultimate are being sold next to each other, and how do I know that the one ultimate computer sucks and this one is decent?

This program is a nightmare waiting to happen which will alienate AMD's few customers.

And then of course, AMD will succumb to pressure from the integrators to rate their products higher than they should (as happens even to a company the size and power of microsoft when they try to create these kinds of programs, so don't think a weak company like AMD can resist). Which renders such a program useless to the consumer, who just can trust that an 'ultimate' computer can really do all the things it is supposed to do, because of all the exceptions. Which means the consumer has to know what is inside the box they are buying, or they get screwed, which is just where we are today.

RE: no one wants basic
By gstrickler on 9/10/2009 2:36:01 PM , Rating: 2
You raise several valid points, in particular, what do you call machines 1-2 years from now that completely blow away the performance of what are currently "Basic"? Do you have Basic '09 this year, Basic '10 next year, etc.? Not entirely a bad idea, but it definitely needs some details added.

If achieving a given rating requires meeting specific minimum specs for CPU, GPU, HD, and RAM, then this might be successful. A "Basic", "Premium", "Ultimate", or "Black" rating guarantees it's suitable for certain uses, then all the user needs to look at are the amount of storage and the features (size, weight, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, battery life, etc.) that are important to them.

Of course, the issue then is that Intel based machines won't have the same ratings. So, while it may help select between various AMD powered machines, it doesn't help at all in comparing AMD vs Intel machines and the consumer is still left trying to figure out how to compare specs between AMD and Intel.

Does it require an AMD/ATI GPU or can it meet the requirements using an AMD CPU and an Nvidia GPU? I'm not sure why you would want that right now since ATI currently tops Nvidia in most price/performance categories.

Finally, is any AMD powered machine that can run Win7 automatically given the "Basic" designation? I hope not. Raise the bar from "meets the minimum required to run Win7" to "runs Win7 acceptably for basic tasks including work processing, spreadsheets, email,web browsing, photo viewing (not any real editing), and some level of video playback".

As for Win7 Starter edition, it should be called "Win7 Limited". Win7 Home Premium should simply be "Win7 Home". All you need for Win7 are 4 levels: Limited, Home, Pro, and Ultimate. "Starter" and "Home Premium" just don't convey anything useful. The marketers will try to claim that "Premium" sounds better and that "Limited" sounds worse than "Starter", but lots of software has come in "LE" versions and it hasn't hurt them a bit. "Premium" also implies you're paying extra, so it's not necessarily a benefit from a marketing perspective.

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