They merged with ATI and spun out their fabrication capability to Global Foundries in a huge bet to make this big move. Their Fusion platform is now on final countdown and promises a potentially market-leading balance of power and energy use. This could make them a real player in notebook computers, rather than just a bottom feeder.
CES pre-briefings indicate the largest number of AMD notebooks in the marketplace than have ever existed. AMD is expected to carry this mix of graphics and processor power into servers next. This was a bet the company gamble and it looks to be paying off big, based on CES buzz.
As a huge player in the PC market they cant afford to be a minor player in phones, and 2011 will showcase whether they can get a beachhead. They also are the biggest beneficiary of a likely major PC refresh in 2011, which should happen around their new Sandy Bridge platform. This is a make it or break it year for Intel.
This strategy has the feel of a world domination play and, given how many iPads and iPhones are making it into enterprises over the objections of IT, one wonders how big the numbers could become if Apple actually addressed IT concerns. This appears to be a massive push by Apple in what could be their biggest market play yet.
However, Apple has never really embraced corporations since Jobs came back, so it doesnt come without risk.
Buzz on the product is high, with speculation filling the Web news pipeline about how thin, light, and connected this new product will be. On top of this, Windows Phone 7 gets its first big patch and the results of what has been one of the companys biggest market pushes will be known. Microsofts image, if not its future, reside with these two platforms.
With many of us wondering if the market has moved away from the model of software that created Microsoft, this will be a critical test.
Oracle wants to be a one-stop shop with massive account control. If they succeed, they can name their own prices. If they fail, they will say goodbye to their iconic CEO. So a lot is riding on this very risky gamble.
While critical, given Oracle and IBMs moves, this is an area that HP has not historically been a heavyweight in, and the company is moving to buy resources like 3Par, which define their software segments. Closer partnerships with SAP are anticipated and their relationship with Microsoft is involved, making this one of the big changes to watch in 2011.
Using the mantra of consolidate, virtualize, standardize and automate, IBM is targeting both public and private workloads for this huge cloud computing initiative. Existing Sun accounts appear to be the primary focus, but HP accounts are also in the cross hairs.
If successful, this could position the combined entity strongly against the typically more powerful HP and IBM offerings and give Oracle a size cap on their ambitions.
2011 sets up what looks to be an incredibly exciting decade for both enterprises and individual buyers. Hang in there.
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