Even before the Opteron launch event, though, AMD had reason to feel that the early betting might be in its favor. Two weeks before the launch, Microsoft promised midyear betas of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 for x86-64, and IBMs DB2 was already on its way to the Opteron platform. Whats often overlooked is that AMDs and Intels strategies are more similar than different.On the fundamentals, its safe to bet that computing requirements in every economic segment will expand the market for 64-bit processors like Opteron and Itanium. Both offer the ability to work with growing collections of data, beyond the 4 billion items that are the intrinsic limit of a 32-bit chip. Both have the intrinsic computing speed, and the multiway scalability, to perform the next generation of critical enterprise tasks: large-scale data mining at the high end of strategic planning, advanced engineering and biotechnical work in the heart of product development, and sophisticated encryption algorithms at the foundations of electronic business.When these enterprise needs are combined with the commercial attractions of digital moviemaking and other entertainment opportunities, the scenario looks more like a demand pull than a technology pusha crucial distinction in this time of demand for clear returns on additional IT investment.