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AMD mugs Intel in backstreets of Paris

Kick a rival when it's down? Mais oui?

AMD unveiled its marketing strategy for its Puma notebook silicon this week: rub Intel’s nose in it for as long as it can get away with it. Perhaps it’s no coincidence the launch was in Paris.

The chip makers’ execs were at pains to point out that “this is not a paper launch” and you can buy systems running these chips today. Well, maybe at the end of the week. The point is it says it has been shipping production parts for weeks, ensuring it doesn’t promise what it can’t deliver.

It’s no surprise AMD wanted to make sure vendors had silicon inhouse before it publicly announced Puma. After those little production bloopers last year that saw Barcelona transformed from ground breaking server platform to mythical lost city, the vendor really doesn’t want to screw up another product launch.

Then Intel went and gave AMD an unexpected gift, admitting that it was going to have to delay shipping of components of its Centrino 2 mobile platform until July, even as it emerged that supplies of its Atom chip for cut down portables were, let’s say, patchy. Given manufacturers’ lead times, this has encouraged AMD to pitch itself as the only game in town come “back to school”.

AMD's worldwide product marketing director Leslie Sobon did her best to appear demure when she said the company simply thinks “it’s important to point out when you launch a product you should have a product.”

And Sobon and other AMD execs went to Hogwartsian lengths to avoid mentioning Intel by name, referring to the “competition”. But when we asked exactly what Puma would be packing over “you know who” sorry, “the competition”, she had a slide on hand with plenty of ticks in the Puma column and assorted crosses in the (current) Centrino and (future) Centrino 2 piles.

Next page: Meeow

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