Saturday, November 01, 2003

It's the night of the living Blog!

It's back!! I'm getting my Blog back on. I demoted myself back to analyst and shed the general manager job. I'll now have time to drill down into the technology and markets again. Being a key analyst is a lot more transportable than being the manager of a money losing operation. The problems are still there and I'll be doing my best to get MDR financially healthy, but if MDR doesn't make it, my position as analyst will be more transportable than GM of MDR.

But enough about me. Is Intel losing it? That's the unexpected situation I think we are nearing. Now, Intel is doing very well TODAY, but its making bad decisions that are being hidden by the gobs of money it makes on x86 processors.

My contacts at Intel talk to me about Intel being a "systems" company, not a chip company. That focusing on chips is not in their interest. An what will that lead to? Bad chip designs! Look at the Centrino/802.11 situation. Intel dumped 300million into the Centino campaign, but can't produce an integrated 802.11b/g chip! The company is lost into too much marketing and power positioning, and not into delivering superior products. That stategy will eventually fail. Intel is very lucky that AMD doesn't have greater resources to call upon. The tide would turn rather quickly.

AMD has its problems, too. It just had another layoff. Most of the people I knew have left. The question I have is the temper of the new AMD. Is it tough enough, hungry enough to go after Intel and keep fighting? For all the problems (and there are many) with Jerry Sander's reigh at AMD, he is a tough fighter. I just wish he wasn't so "Hollywood" and was a more approachable character. But its always been "the good king Jerry" act at AMD. Intel was more a company of equals, but you better be a tough, thick skinned SOB to move up at Intel. A good example of that kind of Intel executive is Louis Burns. The AMD equalivalent was the old Steve Z (the newly retired Z mellowed out over the last few years).

Ahh the inside dirt on the characters that make this an interesting battle of wills. More to come.

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