Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Internal AMD Memo Encourages Rapid Company-Wide Vista Adoption

Today, Intel's Paul Otellini said that they aren't moving to Windows Vista until SP1. ZDNet's Larry Dignan has the details:

Speaking at the Bank of America Technology conference in San Francisco, Otellini was asked about his take on Vista and whether it could drive demand.

For corporations, Otellini said Vista upgrades will be slow. "I know of no organization doing an upgrade before SP1," said Otellini. "Intel isn't upgrading either (until SP1)."

Otellini, however, noted corporate uptake won't hurt Microsoft because most enterprises have commercial licenses that are "all you can drink."

Oh, but wait a second, so lemme get this straight. Intel has taken the same position on Vista as the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation? Since when did the world's largest processor manufacturer decide to take the same upgrade cycle as the Federal Government? Holy crap man, my Grandma's on a quicker upgrade cycle than the government is!

Personally, I think that's completely irresponsible. Intel is the worlds largest processor company. How can they optimize their experience for Vista if they're not going through the same pains we are? It's no wonder Intel STILL doesn't have Viiv drivers for x64, and why we're still waiting for other Vista drivers from their teams. Why is Viiv taking so long? Half the Viiv  technology is built in .NET, which we already know runs on x64? They're setting a terrible example for the industry.

Intel said they "know of no other company doing an upgrade before SP1", which means they probably don't know their competition very well. As you're about to see, AMD is acutely aware of theirs. I've obtained an internal AMD memo from a source inside the company on this very topic. It's from Chief Marketing Officer Henri Richard (he's the #2 guy, BTW) which paints a completely different tone. I thought about only posting excerpts, but it's important to see the overall tone and context vs. Intel, so I'm publishing the whole thing.


Date: January 4, 2007
To: All AMDers
From: Henri Richard, Executive Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
Subject: Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

My Fellow AMDers,
We are at the start of 2007 and already a momentous change is underway. The global IT industry is preparing for one of the most dramatic technological shifts in its history: The launch of Microsoft Windows Vista™.

This powerful and innovative new operating system will arrive in just a few weeks and will bring with it a new computing revolution that will forever alter the way people and organizations around the world think about, use and interact with PCs. Make no mistake, Windows Vista represents one of the most important technology milestones of this decade and the benefits it offers will reverberate for years to come.

The global business community – including AMD – is already moving swiftly to adopt Windows Vista because of the many advanced security, performance, productivity and user experience features it offers. Analysis compiled by several financial institutions and industry analyst firms shows that enterprise customers are planning to deploy Windows Vista across their organizations far more quickly than they did Windows XP. The same holds true in varying degrees for small business users and, of course, consumers, who will lead the charge. Windows Vista also promises to redefine mobile computing and is expected to become the OS of choice for the vast majority of mobile business users in the next 12-18 months. By all accounts, Windows Vista is poised to become the most widely used and most rapidly adopted operating system in Microsoft’s history.

When Windows Vista launches on January 30th, AMD will immediately occupy some of the most valuable real-estate on the technology landscape and we must act swiftly and smartly to ensure we reap our rightful reward.

No other company in our industry – not even our most aggressive competitors – can offer the complete, customer-centric Windows Vista experience, as intended by Microsoft, the way the new AMD can. We are a global leader in both discrete and integrated graphics, we offer a full range of powerful and power-efficient x86 microprocessors, and we provide advanced chipsets that support the majority of x86 and PC graphics processors available today, regardless of manufacturer or brand.

Unlike our competitors, AMD is not constrained by any limitations when it comes to offering the ultimate Windows Vista experience. We have no agenda or internal mandate to push one technology over another at the expense of customer value or to the detriment of Windows Vista’s potential. The fact is, AMD is the quintessential Windows Vista partner simply because no other IT company's mission and product offering aligns so thoroughly with Microsoft's vision. The more successful Windows Vista is, the more successful AMD can be, pure and simple.

The only way we can fail is if we choose to let this opportunity slip away. So I am calling on all AMD employees to recognize and embrace everything Windows Vista represents and make it part of our DNA, to understand that we hold the keys to the kingdom in ways no one else does. [Emphasis mine]

We can become the semiconductor platform of choice for every company in Microsoft’s ecosystem that touches Windows Vista in any way. And the first expression of this vision will be unveiled at CES next week with the launch of our “Better By Design” campaign.

Let’s start 2007 at a new pace that will leave our competition behind. Now is the time. Let’s make the most of it.

I mean, it's a position that is light-years apart from Intel. My source tells me that AMD had a groups of Microsoft consultants come in and advise them about a rollout plan that would make the most sense to them, and they're in the middle of executing that plan. Vista is being deployed at AMD from the top-down, with about 100 users (most of the AMD executives, plus others) using it right now, with many others coming online soon. He said that those people have been running Vista & Office 2007 since September, and that "satisfaction has been high while reported issues have been very low".

Maybe Intel was too busy joining in on the Steve Jobs Circle Jerk to realize that Vista is a game that Intel should be on top of, and that thousands of people tested the hell out of it. Just one more reason that I think AMD will be gaining some pretty significant ground over the next few years.

[via Neowin]

Posted on Mar 07 2007, 03:12 PM by Robert McLaws
Filed under: ,


  • Wesley Shephard said:

    "How can they optimize their experience for Vista if they're not going through the same pains we are? "

    Some of us aren't going though those pains. We are leaving it to the bleeding edge junkies to fight the good fight and bleed for us.

    Corporations aren't using operating systems for graphical gee-whiz factor. They are using them as a platform for running the software they need to use to be effective as a business.

    Our test lab has Vista running. The down side is that Vista

    a) has incompatibilities with some of our old hardware due to lack of driver support

    b) has a memory footprint that makes it impossible to use in our low end data entry stations without expensive upgrades

    c) has software incompatibilities with our ERP system and other smaller (but important) applications.

    Yet, a responsible IT response is to just roll it out and bleed. I think not.

    March 7, 2007 6:34 PM
  • John said:

    "Yet, a responsible IT response is to just roll it out and bleed. I think not."

    Amen. So what good reason !s are there to get Vista now, when the aforementioned boo boos are pretty serious?

    March 7, 2007 7:40 PM
  • Guys, that wasn't the point at all. It doesn't eeven seem like you read the article. The point was Intel's CEO said he didn't know any company moving to Vista, and he was dead wrong. He was so dead wrong, he didn't even know that his major competitor had already placed all their bets on Vista.

    THAT was the point. It wasn't about your Vista pain points (which are not being belittled by any means). Every OS upgrade has them. It was about an industry leader who doesn't have a frickin clue what he's talking about.

    BTW: Those boo boos are problems with stuff built on top of Vista, not with Vista itself. Low end data entry systems aren't Vista's target, and probably won't ever be. They'll be lifecycled out of the mix before they're upgraded. The article said that AMD came up with a responsible plan. I never said to "just roll it out and bleed". AMD's obviously not bleeding.

    Please guys, next time read the article, instead of just flinging around FUD.

    March 7, 2007 9:56 PM
  • DosFreak said:

    Just because a company doesn't deploy a new (beta) operating system company wide doesn't mean they can't support it. Any competent helpdesk/system admin already knows most of the issues that they will have on "upgrading" to Vista and their time will be better spent on testing Vista in a lab environment than running around to 5 billion pc's trying to fix and train their users.

    Stop the hate McLaws.

    March 7, 2007 10:08 PM
  • Does Intel have a support callcenter? I've nevr told anyone to call Intel for technical support...

    March 7, 2007 10:15 PM
  • Bob said:

    I think it's a very interesting post overall in terms of how differently the two companies are seeing Vista, as well as on your point that Otellini apparently didn't know what his main competitor was up to. But hey, maybe AMD believes in it enough that they wanted to keep it quiet. WRT to the comments on many customers not taking those early-adopter pains - duh. Who expects you to? The post is about tech players who are partners and suppliers. Doesn't it make sense that they'd get out in front before asking you to saddle up?

    March 7, 2007 10:19 PM
  • March 8, 2007 8:10 AM
  • Dugbug said:

    wtf robert... Intel and others are just doing the IT dance.  Its the way IT works.  Their job is not to ensure pretty windows, but that folks get their email and scheduling.  PCs are tools in the workplace (something MS knows much better than Apple).  It will happen eventually but they have to do things at their pace.  Its a big expense and they have to learn how to manage them, what applications require updates, etc.

    Hell, we just got SP2 pushed out to us a few months ago.  there is no business value to fast-adopting vista.   All (not just some) client tools necessary for their work must be ready, all corporate anti virus and security packages must work and be ready, etc.  well before they pull all of these upgrade triggers.

    March 8, 2007 10:00 AM
  • John said:

    Why is AMD going to go Vista? What compelling reason do they have, besides the fact that both companies seem to be rather cozy with each other lately?

    March 8, 2007 12:01 PM
  • Alan said:

    Since when does 100 users testing Vista equate to a corporate rollout? Intel has many more than 100 people using Vista today, but neither company has done a complete IT migration.

    March 8, 2007 2:28 PM
  • In two weeks AMD is adding another large group of people to their rollout, and they'll be fully deployed by summer, which will be far ahead of SP1.  If Intel has more people running Vista, then their CEO isn't aware of it... which is even more disturbing.

    March 8, 2007 2:50 PM
  • March 8, 2007 9:42 PM
  • March 9, 2007 3:26 AM
  • bluespapa said:

    Vista would have to sink like a stone for AMD's strategy to be wrong, and it isn't going to.  Intel's strategy, to assume they have the customer base to sit on their hands may be correct, but it certainly shows a lot of inertia.  Businesses refusing to spend the money on appropriate tools waste their huge amounts of time/money.  My wife works at a place that only recently went to XP, only recently went to Office 2003, and spent years unable to do basic conversion of files for their customers, wasted huge amounts of time with work-arounds that they wouldn't have needed.  Every time Windows 98 crashed on a machine, every delay in their barbarous internal communication system, every time an employee had to climb three flights to go sit at a computer the company was willing to risk have connected to the Internet to look something up that would only take a fraction of the time at their desk, etc., was loss of productivity.  

    I wonder if consumers know anything about the chips in their computers or if they look for Intel Inside from advertising, or if they trust their cutting edge friends, or if they just buy what seems cheapest or fanciest or whatever Best Buy sells.  I don't know.  But people get upset when they have a computer that doesn't do basic things because Seagate sold a lousy batch of disks, or because a piece of software keeps crashing or doesn't do basic things that were advertised.  If there's more protection in Vista, and people are watching their old systems run slower and slower because they're collecting pop-ups, etc.,, and don't want to learn how to get rid of them, Vista will help them, the early adopters will have helped, and the better software with all its whiz bang will make people happy.  

    And if AMD and not Intel is making it happen, they'll be happy.  

    March 10, 2007 6:17 PM
  • March 14, 2007 12:26 AM
  • April 26, 2007 8:43 AM
  • I took a walk down memory lane today, in the form of test driving the "Longhorn Reloaded" project . There

    May 25, 2007 12:22 AM