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Intel Software

Intel and Skype Exclude AMD 492

Raenex writes "CNET is reporting that Intel and Skype have signed an exclusive deal that would cap the number of conference call members on all but Intel architecture. Skype will only offer 10-way conference calls on specific Intel chips while other chips, including all AMD chips, will only offer 5-way conference calls. From the article: 'Though few would argue that a niche feature like that is going to be a deal breaker for most PC buyers, the importance of the Skype-Intel alliance goes well beyond VoIP conferencing. Indeed, it's the latest, and certainly most prominent, example of Intel's new take on marketing: Lock in software partners as well as the PC makers.'"
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Intel and Skype Exclude AMD

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  • Solution.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by gasjews ( 941147 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @05:25PM (#14710684) Homepage
    Stick to open source telephony. Asterisk [] makes an excellent enterprise grade open-source PBX for the back end. For the end user, Free World Dialup [] offers a SIP compatible service with a free downloadable client that does not limit you like this.
  • Re:Low Blow (Score:4, Informative)

    by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) * on Monday February 13, 2006 @05:27PM (#14710718)

    Gatta start watchin Intel's sucker punches.

    You mean you're only beginning to watch now?

    This is just the latest round in Intel's ongoing anti-competetive war against AMD [].
  • Re:Override? (Score:2, Informative)

    by iknowrobocop ( 934493 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @05:37PM (#14710839)
    This shouldn't be a complicated issue. I've got a lot of bundled software from old machines that is supposed to install only on HP or Dell computers and I can trick it into installing just by modifying the registry to spoof a Dell/HP/etc. It'll no doubt be harder to spoof an Intel chip than just modifying the registry, but making your hardware lie has a long history in piracy and software hacks in general. A workaround seems inevitable.
  • Re:Solution.. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2006 @05:52PM (#14711000)
    Asterisk makes an excellent enterprise grade open-source PBX for the back end.
    No, it doesn't. Here are list of issues that I've gotten burned on with Asterisk so far this month:Enterprise-grade my ass. These are all open bugs right now. I've hit other show-stoppers that I haven't been able to pin down well enough to open a bug on (involving IAX2 native transfers, and another involving DUNDi caching).

    I wonder what they fixed before releasing 1.2 as "stable"!
  • Re:Low Blow (Score:3, Informative)

    by GoRK ( 10018 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @06:10PM (#14711179) Homepage Journal
    I understand your post and agree, but just for fun: the governor on BMW's.. (or at least the ones that have it) is 155 MPH and there are plenty of carmakers who advertise about how much faster their cars can go by comparison despite the fact that the BMW's speed is artifically limited. I don't think that it's hurting anybody's sales however.
  • Intel optimizations (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kaldaien ( 676190 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @06:29PM (#14711403)
    If you actually read the article, as part of the deal, Intel plans to optimize the code for their processor. Intel is paying money to optimize the third-party Skype code for their chips, presumably utilizing SSE3. Though, I don't know why the deal extends to Duo chips only - I could understand if Intel had to optimize the code to efficiently utilize Hyper Threading, but Duo chips have two discrete cores; perhaps they're taking the shared cache into account, but AMD's dual core chips have a shared cache too.

    If the code were optimized for SSE3, it would only run on recent Intel chips to begin with. I did not read anywhere in the article that said Intel paid to exclude AMD from approaching Skype to optimize their code for "AMD64" (x86-64). That said, the number of phone calls allowable should really be licensed on a per-CPU/core basis. If Skype honestly believes that Intel Duo chips with Intel's optimizations are truly twice as efficient as AMD's dual core chips, a license for 10 calls should be available for quad core AMD products. I have never been a fan of licensing by the number of CPUs, specifically disabling features if a host machine has fewer than X processors, but it has been in use for years.

    It's absurd to assume that a machine with fewer than X processors/cores or of a slightly different architecture is not/will not be powerful enough to run suchandsuch a feature within a product's lifespan. They said that the exclusive 10-way calling feature will only be exclusive for a limited time, however. It may be in recognition that AMD64 chips will eventually be able to outperform even SSE3 optimized Intel code, if they cannot already.
  • by pat_trick ( 218868 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @07:07PM (#14711816)
    Leave feedback on their product at their feedback page []. Tell them that you're not going to support it due to their business decisions to lock features to a certain part of the market.
  • Re:Are they crazy? (Score:3, Informative)

    by McMuffin Man ( 21896 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @07:20PM (#14711940)
    Tying agreements were made illegal in the US by the Clayton Act of 1914 (I believe this predates most European anti-trust law, but I'm hardly an expert here). That doesn't mean, of course, that anti-trust is enforced in a way which does what a non-laywer would expect based on the language of the statute. There's been almost a century for complicating and confusing case law to build up.

    Here is a pretty good site on US anti-trust law [].

  • Re:Low Blow (Score:2, Informative)

    by jma05 ( 897351 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @08:10PM (#14712346) []

    In some respects, they are better than Skype.
    Cheaper calls within US. Standards complaint (SIP) - which means you can plug in third party hardware to hook up your normal phone (can be cheaper than Vonage at some usage rates). Software looks better and does not force itself to startup. Probably does not abuse your bandwidth either like Skype.

    On the other hand,
    Overseas calls are slightly more expensive as is call-in.
  • Re:Low Blow (Score:4, Informative)

    by RedDirt ( 3122 ) * on Monday February 13, 2006 @09:42PM (#14712921) Homepage
    I'm curious, did you even read the article that you linked to? Here's a few samples since you seemed to miss them:

    "Under Battlefield 2, we're able to see a small 3% performance advantage over the Pentium M. However, compared to the Athlon 64 X2, the Core Duo does not stand a chance."

    "What performance at lower resolutions does tell us is that in this type of AI/physics load, the Athlon 64 X2 is a much better performer than the Core Duo, which does have some importance for performance in future games."

    And in the summary:

    "In the past, power users on the go had to sacrifice mobility for CPU power, but with the Core Duo, that is no longer the case. You will still most likely have to resort to something larger if you need better GPU performance, but at least your CPU needs will be covered. The one thing that Intel's Core Duo seems to be able to do very well is to truly bridge the gap between mobile and desktop performance, at least in thin and light packages.

    But what about the bigger picture? What does our most recent look at the performance of Intel's Core Duo tell us about future Intel desktop performance? We continue to see that the Core Duo can offer, clock for clock, overall performance identical to that of AMD's Athlon 64 X2 - without the use of an on-die memory controller. The only remaining exception at this point appears to be 3D games, where the Athlon 64 X2 continues to do quite well, most likely due to its on-die memory controller."

    Based on that, I don't see how you can conclude that:

    Itty, bitty mobile processor Yonah, at 2GHz, with no 64-bit extensions, kicks the bloody shit out of AMDs top of the line offering on almost all the benchmarks.

    The Core Duo is impressive, no doubt about it. Near desktop performance with laptop-like power consumption (at least once Microsoft fixes XP so USB devices don't cause Windows to remain out of standby) but it seems you've gone a few too many laps 'round the Intel hype hampster-wheel. As a matter of fact, in direct opposition to your assertion, in all but one of the benchmarks Yonah trailed AMD's offerings. The gap wasn't generally tremendous, but it certainly was there. Yessir, that'd be kicking the bloody shit. Yup. Oh yes.
  • Re:Are they crazy? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Joseph Vigneau ( 514 ) * on Monday February 13, 2006 @10:36PM (#14713175)
    So the real question should be: are there today any credible competitors to Skype?

    Yes []. Standards based, and is at least 37% less evil.

Recent investments will yield a slight profit.