Page Three

By eweek  |  Posted 2002-12-02 Print this article Print

: Ruiz Interview"> eWEEK: What does it mean to you personally, though, when a Gateway or an IBM not just stop, but announce that theyll no longer be offering AMD as an option? Ruiz: I think its terrible, obviously. Its terrible. I think if you were to talk with Ted Waitt at Gateway, and ask him, "Whyd you do that?" and if he would really tell you why, its a question of hes being bribed to do it. Now, hes got to look out for his own hide and the company thats probably in great difficulty has got to listen to the huge amounts of money that can help him do that.
But you know what I find amazing, think about the power, is that despite all that, which obviously we really get emotional about the fact that somebody like Gateway gets bribed into doing that, is that despite that, according to Dataquest last week, were still holding a 19 percent share of the market. That to me tells me were in the throes of breaking this open.
eWEEK: Why does AMD seem to have more software support for Hammer than hardware support? For example, with IBM, they back out on the hardware, then turn around and support it in software with DB2. Ruiz: I dont know if this is a surprise to you, or if you even believe it or not but the fear of Intel is pretty incredible. I mean when somebodys … livelihood is dependent on making sure Intel supports as well, now thats because theyre so dominant with that supplier. At some point in time thats going to change. I keep telling people the best antidote for that is to get to 50-50, then you dont have to worry about it. Im beginning to see significant buy-in on the part of PC makers to say, "Hmmm." Because heres their fear. Prior to Hammer it wasnt as big a fear. But now with Hammer the difference in the enterprise from Hammer relative to price/performance is so compelling that the fear is that one of them is going to jump ship. And whoever does is going to garner the biggest piece of it because were relatively small at the moment. If one of those big guys were to jump ship, wed have to support that one guy pretty heavily until we had enough capability to support others. And I think one of these guys is beginning to think, "Ha, I wonder," and you can sort of sense it, "whos going to be the first one in." And frankly theyre going to benefit tremendously because there really is a compelling proposition. eWEEK: Can you characterize the price/performance advantage? Ruiz: Sure. … Im going to talk about the volume server market, not the real high end. The volume server market is in the throes of considering where do they go from here. They made a huge investment back in the late 90s as the Y2K thing was coming around. And now theyre looking at the fact that in spite of what you hear, broadband is slowly getting accepted, databases are growing, theyre not getting smaller. All of a sudden they say, "OK, how do we address this?" Here comes Hammer, which prices at a 32-bit system--that means you get 64-bit for free. And on top of that, heres a factor of two in performance with our competition. So thats really beginning to get their attention. If you look at the benchmarks on Hammer, [they] are so overwhelming, theyre not even close. eWEEK: What is the deal with Oracle? Ruiz: Their enterprise software is something theyre interested in porting to Opteron. eWEEK: What other software is on the horizon? Ruiz: Of course, Linux is already way ahead and on top of Opteron. Their far ahead of anybody at the moment because these people have no religion of their own. And its great for us. But they love it. They love Hammer. Its a great product for them. eWEEK: And your relationship with Microsoft Corp.? Ruiz: The relationship is very strong, and I think one of the things Microsoft would like to ensure is the tremendous opportunity Hammer presents for them to continue the evolution of the X86 investment is awesome. If you can imagine, put yourself in Microsofts shoes, you see instead of having to do a right turn, 90 degrees, with the Itanium stuff, now they can see a way of evolving all this investment and technology and continue to be in that dominant position theyve had and probably even make it stronger. So Microsoft is obviously selfishly, incredibly interested in making sure Hammer is a success.


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