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, way 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 llow@redmondmag.com.

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 llow@redmondmag.com.

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.

About the Author

Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.

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