AMD's Ruiz and Dell, together at last

Oracle's OpenWorld marks joint appearance of AMD head Hector Ruiz, and Michael Dell, the PC maker's chief, whose companies finally became partners this year.

SAN FRANCISCO--Advanced Micro Devices CEO Hector Ruiz couldn't resist bringing a special guest onstage at Oracle's OpenWorld conference Monday, even if it meant he had to hold the big news until later.

Ruiz was joined by Michael Dell, chairman of PC company Dell, before 41,000 attendees at Oracle's conference here at Moscone Center. The two executives, long on opposite sides of the technology spectrum, are now partners after an extended courtship involving AMD's Opteron processors.

The men hinted at a Dell-AMD announcement to come later in the day, when Dell is scheduled to give his own keynote address.

Ruiz and Dell

Despite years of disparaging AMD's Opteron and Athlon 64 processors in contrast with Intel's chips, Dell is set to unveil two-way and four-way Opteron servers later this year, and has already started selling AMD-based PCs.

Ruiz did not announce any new AMD products or initiatives, but touched on many of his usual themes during Monday's opening address. AMD spends a lot of time reminding potential customers that they have a choice in low-end server processor technology, since Intel had that market basically to itself before AMD's Opteron processor arrived in 2003.

"With greater choice comes greater competition and with greater competition comes greater innovation," Ruiz said.

He also put in a plug for Oracle's database and application software running on Opteron-based servers, and he touched upon the need for improved information technology in health care. David Brailer, the former national coordinator for health information technology, noted during an onstage conversation with Ruiz that standards must become a greater part of health care technology.

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