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Intel cuckolded by Dell

AMD chips for desktop PCs

Dell has taken a step away from long-time supplier Intel, launching one desktop that spurns the chipmaker's vPro business bundle and two others that use processors from chipmaking competitor AMD.

Dell will still build its new Dimension E520 and XPS 210 desktop PCs with a choice of Intel's Pentium D or Core 2 Duo processors, the company said yesterday. But for the first time, Dell will offer a choice of AMD's Athlon and Sempron chips in the new Dimension E521 and C521 models.

For its new OptiPlex 745 business desktop, Dell said it developed its own bundle of business-friendly technologies instead of using Intel's vPro platform. Intel has seen strong sales in recent years for bundles of software and hardware such as its Centrino package for wireless notebook PCs. The company launched vPro in September as an effort to extend that strategy to business desktops.

The company did not rule out the chance that it might add Intel's bundle to future desktops, but said vPro had to mature first.

"We'll continue to work with Intel to help it refine the technology," said Dell's chief technology officer, Kevin Kettler. He spoke during the company's annual Technology Day meeting in New York. "There's still work to be done to drive that technology as a fundamental, strong value for our customers."

He compared the current vPro bundle with early iterations of hardware-based security in TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chips. "Dell was a slow adopter of TPM, and that's not because we didn't know about them or forgot to ask about them. There are some cases where we've ultimately used a technology but waited for it to mature a little bit before adopting it," Kettler said.


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