In recent years, AMD has struggled to remain relevant in the commercial PC as it has competed against Intel, the market share leader and gold-standard in processor performance. Today, companies often only choose AMD for its lower initial acquisition costs — which run approximately $50 to $75 cheaper than Intel’s, although you’re sacrificing performance to get there. This approach of narrowly undercutting Intel has not worked well for AMD, as it has now seen six straight quarters of net loss.
On Monday, however, AMD announced a major new initiative it calls AMD Business Class — a renewed effort to better compete in the commercial segment across both desktops and laptops. Targeting SMBs, the public sector, and large enterprises, AMD Business Class is its renewed focus on a historically weaker area than the consumer market. Initially, AMD is touting the availability of three new AMD-powered desktops: HP’s dc5850 and dx2450, Fujitsu Siemens Computers’ Esprimo E/P5625, and a refresh of Dell’s OptiPlex 740. The new processors are available in Athlon X2 dual-, Phenom X3 triple-, and Phenom X4 quad-cores and will try to keep pace with Intel’s Green IT initiatives with Energy Star 4.0 compliance.
CTIA, one of the wireless industry’s biggest conferences of the year, is happening this week in Las Vegas and Microsoft is garnering the most headlines. Why? It officially announced Windows Mobile 6.1, which is expected to hit the market "within the next couple of months." Forrester received a hands-on preview of it a couple of weeks ago and we couldn’t help but leave the meeting feeling like Microsoft’s playing catch-up to superior handheld device user experience providers like Apple and RIM. Still, it’s a good sign that Microsoft is focused on simplifying the user experience moving forward.
Microsoft has been heads down for years keeping IT happy and it’s been pretty successful given that 54% of the 531 North American businesses we recently surveyed support Windows Mobile-powered smartphones. However, Microsoft is now facing pressure to improve the user experience so that it’s pleasant for workers’ personal lives as well as their professional lives. The biggest changes that Windows Mobile 6.1 will bring include a more PC-like browsing experience, threaded SMS conversations, improved search, and simpler navigation (e.g., an improved home page and one-tap connection to a wireless network).
These experience improvements are clearly evolutionary rather than revolutionary. But Windows Mobile 6.1 proves two things: