AMD's quest may benefit Microsoft

An antitrust complaint with something favorable to say about Microsoft? Is it possible?

Apparently so. The antitrust suit filed last week against microprocessor giant Intel by its smaller rival, Advanced Micro Devices, singles out Microsoft for its willingness to support an innovative processor that AMD pioneered.

From the outside, it might seem surprising that the AMD suit doesn't instead criticize Microsoft, given its close ties with Intel as part of what many call the "Wintel" partnership. But the situation illustrates the fact that the interests of Microsoft and Intel aren't always tightly aligned.

In fact, some analysts say Microsoft would benefit if AMD is able to become a bigger competitor to the dominant chipmaker -- either through its antitrust suit or over time in the market. Such an outcome could give Microsoft more influence in its dealings with Intel, under the notion that the Redmond software company could just as easily work with AMD instead.

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