The 64-bit Battleground
**It's guest columnist time! Doug Barney is traveling this week, so filling
his chair today is Lafe Low, executive editor of features at Redmond
magazine. Stay tuned for more guest columnists throughout the week.**
All's fair in love and war and the battle for 64-bit supremacy. Execs at AMD
are no doubt gathered in their situation room to update the chip manufacturer's
plan of attack against Intel. AMD reported first quarter revenue of $1.23 billion,
below what the analysts had forecast. It attributed the shortfall to lower
unit sales and lower selling prices.
Those less-than-stellar results also led the company to announce a series of
cost-cutting maneuvers that will likely include reductions in hiring. It plans
to reduce spending by as much as $500 million.
In January, AMD announced that it expected first quarter revenues would be
approximately $1.67 billion, but then in March gave analysts an early warning
that it would be lower. Speculation on Wall Street for the sagging numbers ranges
from declining desktop and server sales to the ongoing battle with Intel.
Last year, AMD actually gained market share, creeping up to 25 percent by the
end of 2006. Both Intel's and AMD's share prices fell over the year, but Intel's
fell much less. This year, as companies continue moving to the 64-bit machines
they'll need to run Vista and Longhorn, there should be plenty of good news
for both Intel and AMD. It's not over until it's over, though. Intel announces
its results next Tuesday.
What's your company's plan to migrate to Vista and to 64-bit hardware? Let
us know at [email protected].
Don't Mess With Turkey
It's not a good idea to make fun of Turkey, even if it's on the Web. Last Thursday,
a parliamentary commission in Ankara approved
a proposal to block Web sites that are deemed insulting to Ataturk, the
founder of modern-day Turkey. This move comes just weeks after courts in Turkey
temporarily banned YouTube because of some potentially insulting video clips
appearing on the popular site.
This posturing has free speech advocates in an uproar. It's actually illegal
in the country of Turkey to speak of breaking up or dividing the state along
ethnic or religious lines, or to insult Ataturk. There have been several instances
of Turkish writers being tried under those statutes, so they take these insults
seriously. While Turkey has been initiating widespread social reforms as part
of its bid to join the European Union, this kind of censorship certainly won't
help its case.
What do you think of this kind of governmental censorship? Do you think it's
appropriate for the feds to determine what we can do or say over the Web --
whether here or abroad? How far should free speech go? How does your organization
go about enforcing Web policies? Let us know at [email protected].
Space Update: The Quail Has Landed
Charles Simonyi's Russian rocket has docked at the International Space Station
(ISS). The Simonyi Express brought the usual load of supplies and staff for
the ISS, but that's not all. Simonyi -- who is apparently good friends with
domestic diva, media mogul and ex-con Martha Stewart -- brought a gourmet meal
selected by the gourmet goddess herself that reportedly included quail marinated
in a wine sauce. No word as to whether it will be dispensed through tubes.
Simonyi and his space mates will enjoy the special meal on Thursday, April
12, which is celebrated as Cosmonaut's Day in Russia as it commemorates Yuri
Gagarin's first manned space flight back in 1961.
Simonyi is no mere gourmet delivery boy or a tagalong tourist, though. He'll
be helping with several experiments, including examining biological organisms
inside the station's lab and measuring radiation levels. Simonyi's space odyssey
ends on April 20. He'll share the ride back down to Earth with U.S. astronaut
Michael Lopez-Alegria and cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin.
You can follow Simonyi's out-of-this-world exploits on
his blog here.
Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.