I was at the Microsoft Teched conference last week and I was amazed to see the level of presence that AMD had. Entire sessions were dedicated to the AMD64 cpu's and how WinXP/2k3 64-bit will work together. Much less time was devoted to Intel's x64 cpu, which must really piss them off. They've been the big boys for so long that it has to be like sand in your jockeys to see AMD in the limelight.
But if you take a minute and look at the cpu landscape over the past few years you'll see that AMD has made incredible change, not only in their own business, but also in the whole sector of the economy.
- They were the first to 1Ghz, which may have been little more than a marketing race but in business isn't that what matters? Public perception?
- They were the first to offer top of the line cpu's for bargain price, which Intel has been forced to follow
- They completely have changed the image that clock speed does not equal performance, another thing which Intel has been forced to admit, albeit grudgingly
- They ran with x86-64 when Intel said there was no market for it. They continued when Microsoft said they wouldn't support it. Then when Linux users started showing such huge interest, MS decided they had best support it. Finally Intel saw the rapid adoption of x64 in the gamer, followed by the server, space and they delivered their own.
All in all, it has been a good few years for AMD. Now they need to somehow keep the momentum going and start returning a predictable profit.