Skype has announced that their 2.0 version of software will support 10 way calling, but only if a dual core Intel processor is detected. If any other processor is found (read AMD), then the user will be limited to 5 way calling. And according to Intel’s website, they are touting this partnership as a communication improvement for consumers and small businesses. That is, if you require 10 way calling on your home phone. They also plan on further collaboration to optimize features for Intel.
I can understand Intel’s desire for this deal. Anything that they can offer that AMD can’t is a selling point for them. With their market share being cut into, they are protecting themselves. However, with their track record of making suspect marketing payments to companies to entice them not to offer AMD products along with implied rataliation, I hope this is not just another tack in that possibly illegal and anticompetitive activity (see this Techspot article). We’ll have to wait until AMD’s suit plays out to see if that is how it is viewed by the courts.
What I don’t really see is what Skype gets out of this. Barring any payments from Intel, you would think they would want to reach the largest demographic possible. By cutting out all AMD users from advanced features, they have just alienated a decent number of users. There is no technical reason that they couldn’t offer this same level of service to AMD users as well. Aligning themselves with Intel exclusively seems to be counterproductive. Somewhere there is a preceived benfit they are not sharing. I am sure the AMD corporation is looking at this as well for any sign of Intel stacking the deck against them. Because if there is no financial remuneration from Intel to Skype, then they are just making a dumb move.
Posted by Jeff