AMD Wants To Know Why Skype Is In Bed With Intel

from the money-or-monopolies dept

It had seemed a bit strange last month when Skype and Intel announced that the VoIP/chat program would have special features when used on a machine with Intel’s Core Duo and Pentium D processors. It wasn’t exactly clear why a program like Skype would need such processing power, or why it would be a good idea to limit the platforms on which some of their features worked. It would appear that AMD is also curious about this and has now subpoenaed Skype as part of their ongoing anti-trust case against Intel. AMD claims that there’s no reason Skype’s software shouldn’t be fully featured on its own chips and says Intel is using its monopoly position to hinder competition. But what’s the reason for Skype/eBay? Reader Simon suggests that that “despite their celebrated number of downloads, perhaps growth isn’t what they expected, and they are desperate to claw back some of that huge price tag in the form of Intel marketing dollars.” Intel denies that there was any financial incentives at all. Either way, when you find out that a simple chat program needs dual-core chips, it makes you wonder just what is going on under the covers. Programs like that shouldn’t be processor hogs, and if they are, then something is definitely wrong.

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Comments on “AMD Wants To Know Why Skype Is In Bed With Intel”

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Beaker (user link) says:

Skype and Processing Power

I had read (but unfortunately can no longer find) an article that said Skype may be using any computer that’s not behind a firewall as a super-node and routing a lot more than the occasional phone call or message across the CPU.

There were accusations from users that their CPU was maxing out and crashing their system because of the burden Skype created.

I don’t know if that’s true, but it may explain their desire to run on machines with more horse power.

Mica says:

Re: Skype and Processing Power

You guys are way off track.

Partnering with Intel makes perfect sense. Proper threading in the software will imporove voice quality and system performance. Getting the threading correct goes back to Intel.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be opening mail, running other tasks, etc and not have it impact your VOIP conversation?

confused says:

Re: Re: Skype and Processing Power

But isnt the operating system supposed to handle that in an abstract way so that applications like skype dont need to worry about what the processor or how many threads/cores it has is UNLESS there are custom instructions on that processor put there expressly for improving the performance of specific applications? Intel has done this in the past with special 3D related instructions to try and block out AMD, so why would they not be trying to do it again?Especially when AMD is a bigger threat then ever before.

Brendan says:

It's not about the processor, it's about the commu

I don’t think that it makes sense for Skype to partner with Intel, due to their processors; however, it does make sense to partner over communications strategy. Intel already has a big presence, with Centrino, and will only further that presence with their Wimax plans….
AMD, to the best of my knowledge, really doesn’t play in the WiMax/WiFi space.

Ancient says:

Not just Dual Core chips

When I first read about this, it actually didn’t say anything about Pentium Ds or Core Duo chips. Its just any Intel chip. I see in this latest linked article it does talk directly about said dual core chips, but I think thats just the marketing part of the deal. But just having any Intel chip will let you have a 10 person conference call vs only 5 on an AMD chip. Not saying this is right, just saying its not limited to only dual core intel chips.

Tommy says:

Hey AMD subpoena me too

Hey AMD, subpoena me too. I bought an Intel chip, obviously there must be a conspiracy. What is this shit, everytime someone or something happens AMD uses the lawyers. AMD has been using marketing funds just as much in the most unethical ways, but because its a smaller company nobody seems to care. Spare me…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Hey AMD subpoena me too

Go ahead and try to cite monopolistic actions AMD has taken.

Worst I can think of is plastering its logo over 64bit capable games — which still run fine on Intel EM64T-enabled chips.

Forgive me if I have a soft spot for a company trying to stem the tide of rampant monopolies in this country (they’re all around us, some are natural, like water utilities, but most are oligopolys — just as bad for consumers). “Late stage capitalism” as I’ve heard it called.

Look, you should be thanking AMD. Obviously they’re only doing it for their own good, but it is upholding the law (that the government for the corporation, by the corporations doesnt really want to) which ultimately lowers costs for you and I.

Unless by “spare me” you mean “spare me lower prices” or “spare me the intellectual troubles of understanding the economic forces attacking my financial freedom and just let me roll my eyes in blissful ignorance”

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