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Intel and Skype Exclude AMD

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the if-you-can't-beat-them-take-away-all-their-friends dept.

Intel 492

Raenex writes "CNET is reporting that Intel and Skype have signed an exclusive deal that would cap the number of conference call members on all but Intel architecture. Skype will only offer 10-way conference calls on specific Intel chips while other chips, including all AMD chips, will only offer 5-way conference calls. From the article: 'Though few would argue that a niche feature like that is going to be a deal breaker for most PC buyers, the importance of the Skype-Intel alliance goes well beyond VoIP conferencing. Indeed, it's the latest, and certainly most prominent, example of Intel's new take on marketing: Lock in software partners as well as the PC makers.'"

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Low Blow (4, Insightful)

Kickboy12 (913888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710640)

To allow more conference calls to users who are using a specific CPU is a cheap shot at the market. It's not fair to chip makers, and definetly not fair to the consumers.

Gatta start watchin Intel's sucker punches.

Re:Low Blow (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710695)

I agree. I think they should do a speed test on your processor and if it can handle the load, then the feature should be enabled. Disabling a feature because you don't have a specific brand of processor is kind of low.

In other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710756)

In other news, Steve Jobs announced yesterday that Mac OS X will run only on G4, G5, and specially Apple-enhanced Intel chipsets...

Re:Low Blow (1)

Xymor (943922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710823)

Seriously, even chatting 10-way using top real-time video compression it's very unlikely that new cpus in new systems, even cheaper less powerfull ones, should not be able to handle skype.
AMD user-base is increasing so it will probably be skype's loss.

Re:Low Blow (4, Informative)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710718)


Gatta start watchin Intel's sucker punches.

You mean you're only beginning to watch now?

This is just the latest round in Intel's ongoing anti-competetive war against AMD [theinquirer.net] .

Re:Low Blow (1)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710807)

anticompetitive? or competitive?

Re:Low Blow (3, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710960)

I think it's pretty clearly anticompetitive, when you're pushing someone to write software that is specifically noncompliant with a competitors hardware.

If I were Intel I would have waited until that particular competitor was no longer suing me for anti-competitive behavior before adding more weight to their argument...But that's just me.

Other industries do this (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710818)

But other companies do this and get away with it.

For example, Itunes requires your portable mp3 player to be Apple Ipod.

I dont see the big deal. It's a similar concept, tie-in value selling.

I don't see calls for Apple to stop preventing people from making Fairplay compatible mp3 players. Or at least licensing out or opening Fairplay reasonably.

Re:Low Blow (1, Insightful)

oringo (848629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710849)

I agree. Am I the only one smelling an anti-trust suit out of this?

Did someone say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710884)

anti-trust lawsuit?

Re:Low Blow (0)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710901)

So?

BMW dealer mechanics charge 3x more for service calls, and they do a better job. I can choose to go with a generic mechanic for less money and get crappy service.

Pay more, get more.

Re:Low Blow (5, Interesting)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710968)

That's not the case. This is like Ford passing a law mandating that 55 mph governors be installed on BMWs, and then advertising that their car can go much faster than BMWs. AMD is widely known to make better chips in this case, not Intel.

Who's to blame. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710956)

Gatta start watchin Intel's sucker punches.

Intel is definitely playing an evil card here but, the real culprit is Skype/eBay. Intel alone cannot force this deal. The most that Intel can do is offer Skype/eBay some money to restrict the software and see if they will bite. Well, it looks like Skype/eBay has bit hard! It is Skype/eBay's software so, they are the only ones that can restrict it based on CPU or any other hardware.

Sure, it smacks of price fixing and collusion on Intel's part but, Skype/eBay are the root of this evil.

OS X (2, Interesting)

CMiYC (6473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710667)

I haven't read the articles, so I apologize if this has been stated already. Is there news if these "enhancements" applies only to Wintel systems? Or will Dual-core Mactel systems get the added benefits too?

The Skype OS X client is already somewhat lacking compared to its Win-counterpart.

Re:OS X (4, Insightful)

spacefight (577141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710861)

I haven't read the articles
Why don't you read the linked articles? No need for an apology then...

Re:OS X (2, Interesting)

Trogre (513942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710914)

What about Lintel? Don't forget Lintel. :)

Intel Outsiders (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710672)

CNet says Intel locking software to hardware is a new *cough*Wintel*cough* take on marketing.

Re:Intel Outsiders (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710852)

CNet says Intel locking software to hardware is a new *cough*Wintel*cough* take on marketing.

Windows only works on Intel CPUs?

Oh no... bloody murder! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710673)

I'm sure everyone on Slashdot will now be screaming bloody murder but this sort of a deal is completely legal and allowed. Intel and Skype don't have to play nice with anyone else's stuff. I'm sure I'll be modded as flamebait but I challenge all of Slashdot to prove, using US Law, to prove that this is illegal without any doubt.

Re:Oh no... bloody murder! (2)

Soothh (473349) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710700)

They may not have to play nice, but the rotten #@$%!@#$ are taking away choice.
Its moves like this that make me chose against the product rather than for it.

Skype: Tomorrow's Napster. (5, Interesting)

XorNand (517466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710677)

Heh... In five years Skype is going to be as relavant as Napster is today: a historial footnote to a great idea that could have been much more. The dot-bomb hangover is finally fading and there's a resurging interest in funding Internet-based technologies. Some people have called it a "new boom". VoIP is far and away the biggest reason for this new boom. New VoIP providers are coming out the woodwork because the industry finally matured enough to standardize on SIP as the defacto VoIP-standard. Vendors are cranking out interoperable SIP hardware, which allows us (as part of a recent VoIP startup) to rapidly roll out services without having to second guess whether we're using the right tech. Open standards makes things cheaper. It makes it easier to find, hire and train knowledgable engineers. Etc, etc... Skype, however, is still locked into a propietary protocol. Compare the history of the CD to that of the Minidisc to see difference that open standards makes. Like Napster, the only value of Skype in five years will be the brand name.

Re:Skype: Tomorrow's Napster. - NOT QUITE (2, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710749)

eBay owns Skype. eBay knows product marketing. Skype is not run by a 19-yr old kid with a manipulative uncle pulling the strings. The minute eBay sees they can capture more market share by "goign open", they will.

Re:Skype: Tomorrow's Napster. - NOT QUITE (1)

boog3r (62427) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710919)

Ebay is getting pretty big for its britches. Legal/financial problems with paypal, losses from skype (once everyone figures out skype is irrelevant), and niche/innovative competition will eventually lead to ebay's demise.

Re:Skype: Tomorrow's Napster. (1)

XorNand (517466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710768)

Correction: VHS vs. Betamax is a better comparison than CD vs. Minidisc.

Re:Skype: Tomorrow's Napster. (1)

ObjetDart (700355) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710936)

There are so many problems with this argument.

Comparing Napster to Skype is absurd. Napster failed because its business model, such as it was, depended on its customers violating copyright law, and it got sued into oblivion. Skype is providing a real, legitimate service to real people right now. It could of course still fail for many reasons, but not for the reasons Napster did. Skype is also backed by the very deep pockets of EBay.

Claiming that Skype will fail because it is based on a proprietary standard is also silly. Counter-examples abound, for example, say...Microsoft? That whole multi-billion company is based on a proprietary standard.

Re:Skype: Tomorrow's Napster. (1)

monopole (44023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710943)

The one merit of Skype is that it "just works" at the moment while in my last foray into SIP it was nearly impossible to get working on certian broadband configurations. This is critical for VOIP because you the intended recipients are a long distance away.

Re:Skype: Tomorrow's Napster. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710945)

So very Very true!

Re:Skype: Tomorrow's Napster. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710958)

It does seem like a silly and counter-productive thing to do. Why limit a growing portion of your market, especially when that portion is made up largely of the early-adopters that are likely to want such a feature.

I smell an "unfair competition" lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710678)

A big one actually. One of the multi million dollar kind.

Devices (5, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710679)

I'm going to make a wild guess that Intel is not thinking about ye olde PCs, but devices. VoIP is the next thing, and they want to make sure all those appliances are running Intel chipsets.

Cisco has a good start on them though - but not the software, that's Skype.

This is going to be an interesting field to watch for the next five years.

Re:Devices (1)

tuomasr (721846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710897)

I'm going to make a wild guess that Intel is not thinking about ye olde PCs, but devices. VoIP is the next thing, and they want to make sure all those appliances are running Intel chipsets.

Nope. From the press release on Skype.com:

The new feature is available exclusively for home and business users with Intel Centrino® Duo mobile technology-based laptop PCs, and desktop PCs based on Intel® Pentium® D processors, Pentium Extreme Edition processors, and the recently introduced Intel Viiv(TM) technology.

Are they crazy? (4, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710681)

Whatever the merits of AMD's existing anti-trust complaints, there is no freaking way this isn't an anti-trust violation. It's completely artificial and a clear loss to consumers. Seems odd that Intel would voluntarily give out ammunition like this.

Re:Are they crazy? (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710789)

Whatever the merits of AMD's existing anti-trust complaints, there is no freaking way this isn't an anti-trust violation.

Yes, there is one way. I had the exact same thought as you did, right up until I realized something: Intel no longer has a monopoly in the processor market.

The conclusion that then follows is: There is no more anti-trust. Just competition.

Scary.

Re:Are they crazy? (2, Interesting)

deviantphil (543645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710867)

Yes, there is one way. I had the exact same thought as you did, right up until I realized something: Intel no longer has a monopoly in the processor market.

The conclusion that then follows is: There is no more anti-trust. Just competition.

Actually...this behavior is called tying [aurorawdc.com] ...which is also illegal.

Re:Are they crazy? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710979)

Read your article. Tying is an antitrust complaint. If Intel can no longer be argued to be a monopoly, then they are free from many forms of antitrust complaints, including tying. In fact, product tying is a common strategy that small companies can use in order to gain leverage against competitors. (Such as video game console vendors tying game software with their hardware.) That's why it's important to prove that a company is in the position of being a monopoly.

IAANAL, but it may still be possible to argue the case in court, but without the key monopoly position, it can be hard to prove that a company should be punished for such a move. (Especially since such moves can hurt a company's competitive position in the market rather than help.)

Re:Are they crazy? (4, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710926)

It's probably still illegal though.

In Europe it's product tying, which has been illegal for a while - if Skype try this there they'll be sued to oblivion by AMD under these laws.

Not sure about the US... I guess from the comments that there are no such laws there.

Re:Are they crazy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710981)

There's a hell of a lot more to anti competetive practices than just those available to a monopoly

Re:Are they crazy? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710877)

BTW, according to Ars Technica, AMD now sells 21.4% [arstechnica.com] of all desktop and laptop CPUs worldwide. AMD's mobile chip sales have rising to 15.1 percent of the market.

AMD's Opertron architecture finally managed to cream Intel at just the right transitional period. AMD is now leading development rather than following. I find that to be a rather shocking turn of events, especially on Intel's own property. (x86)

Re:Are they crazy? (1)

AppleTwoGuru (830505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710878)

Too bad the DOJ didn't see deals like Microsoft made with OEM PC suppliers to only preload PC systems with Windows and not competitors (like Linux) or face steep financial/licensing torture. And don't tell me Linux isn't preinstalled because nobody wants it. The licensing structure is based on the old setup of excluding other OSes back in early 90's (like Novell DOS 7, OS/2 Warp, or IBM DOS) and is carried into the present (can't preload Linux or Microsoft will revoke your OEM license discount and send your business into the craphole.) OEM: "Oh, Oh Mr. Gates, please spare us, we wouldn't think of pre-installing Linux on common-market PCs. Please don't beat us. We will comply. We will even post a 'OEM recommends Microshifty Winders Pro' message just to show you we are submissive to you, Almighty Holy One Gates"

Ridiculuous (1)

inajamaica (906275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710682)

We play Mario Kart DS online and do Skype conference calls alot...we have 2 races going on with ~8 friends...but we can't Skype everyone together because of a moronic, illogical limitation like this. I totally can't understand this one...

Re:Ridiculuous (1)

ender- (42944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710895)

Why don't you just set up Teamspeak [goteamspeak.com] or Roger Wilco [gamespy.com] or Ventrilo [ventrilo.com] or something?

Solution.. (4, Informative)

gasjews (941147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710684)

Stick to open source telephony. Asterisk [asterisk.org] makes an excellent enterprise grade open-source PBX for the back end. For the end user, Free World Dialup [freeworlddialup.com] offers a SIP compatible service with a free downloadable client that does not limit you like this.

Asterisk is better anyways.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710702)

Bye bye skype....we hardly knew ya.....

wha? (5, Funny)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710704)

does this mean Intel is actually actively trying to chase off all the geek customers that were just starting to consider not despising them again when the Yonah benchmarks came in? or did some middle-manager just accidentally outsource their public relations to Sony?

Re:wha? (1)

scosol (127202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710755)

That's exactly what I was thinking- I would *hope* that whomever at Intel thought this was a good idea is quietly dismissed-

This is *not* the behavior of a world-class coporation...

Downright Disgusting (3, Interesting)

Bulldozer2003 (824009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710706)

This is a disgusting way of getting customers, it seems like there could be some kind of possible litigation considering they are making you buy one thing in order to use another. Maybe THIS is why VOIP companies should be regulated like we do the baby bells.

sucker punch (1)

fak3r (917687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710711)

This is wrong, while Dell "recommends Windows XP" they don't do anything to block you from using and alternative OS. Likewise I can't see why people would want to buy a product that would lock them into anything, save for I can't think of many that would be swayed by "only" being able to conference with 5 people, it's more of a moral victory for Skype. Strange though, didn't see that coming.

Ya, well... uh... NO SOUP FOR YOU! (3, Insightful)

jigjigga (903943) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710712)

Haha, like that is gonna make people want to stop their migration to AMD. Although this is a scary precident, it will most likely backfire. AMD will be able to further fan the fire with this.

Time to start the Class Action Law Suit (1)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710716)

Especially when the AMD processors can out-run, out-perform, out-class the Intel Chips every day of the week.

Re:Time to start the Class Action Law Suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710915)

Especially when the AMD processors can out-run, out-perform, out-class the Intel Chips every day of the week.


This is true for the most part, but there are a few areas where Intel still beats AMD. For example, AES encryption as provided in the CryptoPP library seems to scale with the speed of the processor. On a 2.0 Ghz Athlon64 I get about 45 MiB/s and on a 3.2 Ghz P4 I get about 72 MiB/s.

Since Intel offers the highest clocked processors, they would be a better purchase if your goal was simply running as much data as possible through AES (ignoring other factors such as investment and running costs).

The one positive thing about this..... (2, Insightful)

achesterase (918544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710719)

Although I cringed when I read the article summary, this does underline how AMD has pushed Intel into a corner and I for one will feel a lot less sorry for Intel when they get crushed by AMD. ;-)

Re:The one positive thing about this..... (1)

JPribe (946570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710806)

It just makes me wonder about deals in the past we didn't know about. Intel has done a great job of maintaining their maketshare through the years, this isn't the first time and certainly not the last. I expect that as more and more options become available deals like this will continue...maybe even *gasp* become standard to the industry. The automotive folks do it with parts makers alot (as I understand it....)

Intel is Scum (1, Redundant)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710723)

I think PC users should boycott Intel because of this kind of B.S. Clearly they have decided that they can't do it based on technology in the marketplace, so have decided to try to do it by strongarming the end user. It's baloney and hurts all PC users.

Re:Intel is Scum (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710865)

This isn't about PC users. It's about corporate users... users who are probably already on Intel, probably with OEM boxes from Dell or HP or similar.

I'd make a choice--but not on the hardware... (5, Insightful)

Chuck Milam (1998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710724)

From TFA: "Would you avoid buying a PC with an Advanced Micro Devices chip inside because it wouldn't let you host an Internet conference call with six of your friends?"

No, I wouldn't avoid buying a PC with an AMD chip. I pretty much buy all AMD now, and I plan to continue. I would, however, be sure to not use software that tries to dictate to me what type of hardware I use. I wonder if this will backfire on Skype?

Re:I'd make a choice--but not on the hardware... (3, Insightful)

bigpat (158134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710871)

I wonder if this will backfire on Skype?

Don't wonder. I recently signed up for skype, just because my family was on it and it was free. But I think it may be time to think about alternatives. Thing about a free service, it is really easy to walk away when they do stupid things like this. I can't possibly see why skype thought crippling its software would be good for business. And it really makes me think Intel is on its way out if they can't compete anymore on the merits of their products, but have to conspire with other businesses to exclude competition.

It is a sad day for those two companies.

It will just drive more people to... (4, Funny)

shadwwulf (145057) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710733)

Asterisk. [asterisk.org]

It does conference calls really well and is not just free as in beer.

Corporate stupidity isn't always a bad thing. It's just a matter of letting them shoot themselves in the foot and then reaping the benefits of their pain.

MTW

Re:It will just drive more people to... (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710904)

Wait. I've been looking at Asterisk. What am I missing? There has to be some sort of fee, right? I mean, to connect to out of network phones at least. Right?

Re:It will just drive more people to... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710973)

Why should there be?

It depends on where you are.. from the UK I can call most of the world for free (well a connect charge usually about 1p), including the US. Of course as it's a free market rather than a lockin like skype I have to keep an eye out for the best deal but I haven't paid for a call in about 2 years now.

Microsoft got themselves in trouble this way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710738)

If you use your marketing clout to exclude competitors, you will run afoul of the FTC. Doing that is illegal. Microsoft is still suffering the consequences both here and in Europe. These guys should know better.

Override? (1)

non0score (890022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710739)

I wonder how long it'd be before someone releases a hack to override the check done by Skype and how popular the hack would be. Furthermore, I wonder how this will affect the entire anti-trust case against Intel from AMD (I have no clue about the implications, if there are any, since I'm not an anti-trust lawyer).

Re:Override? (2, Informative)

iknowrobocop (934493) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710839)

This shouldn't be a complicated issue. I've got a lot of bundled software from old machines that is supposed to install only on HP or Dell computers and I can trick it into installing just by modifying the registry to spoof a Dell/HP/etc. It'll no doubt be harder to spoof an Intel chip than just modifying the registry, but making your hardware lie has a long history in piracy and software hacks in general. A workaround seems inevitable.

Re:Override? (1)

boldtbanan (905468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710882)

And then whoever creates the hack is sued into oblivion by Skype using the DMCA (along with every person they can find who used it).

Stupid move (4, Insightful)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710742)

It only opens the door for Skype's competitors to gain a foothold by not instituting such a silly restriction.

It also turns into bad PR for Skype for the tech community to find out that Skype intentionally hobbles their software.

Re:Stupid move (1)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710846)

You make a good point. I would wager that a significant portion of Skype's customer base know a fair amount about computers and networking. And exactly the kind of customer that will leave in a heartbeat when they see this sort of tactic.

At the same time, I am certain that Skype management is very concerned with making money. I'm sure that money coming from Intel more than offset the potential cost of lost customers.

Interesting (1)

3CRanch (804861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710747)

I know there will be lots of "not fair" and "monopoly" lawsuits on the way, but if anything its interesting that they are admitting to it.

From what I've seen in other semi similar items, stuff like this gets coded in but never mentioned by the manufacturer...until they get caught. Its interesting that they are willing to bring it out in the open without having to reverting to backdooring the competition (i.e. AMD).

sky what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710752)

never heard of skype. must not be signifigant or important.

Another Fine Example of... (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710762)

...artificial limitations imposed on technology to provide monetary benefit for a select few. So can anyone tell me why profit motive is a good thing once it's applied to stockholder beholden corporations again??? Anyone?? ;P

Not unlike... (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710765)

...Microsoft trying to bury Netscape in the browser war. But Netscape eventually spawned Firefox, which now stands to hit Microsoft where it hurts. AMD may be pushed to the brink by Intel, but once it's clear that they might die, they will suddenly find themselves free to follow new directions. Intel may be sowing the seeds of its own destruction.

Heh, great. (0, Redundant)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710766)

Well, anyways, at least this makes me more glad that I bought my Apple iBook before the x86 switch. Good ol' PowerPC. ;)

Re:Heh, great. (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710856)

Today you are, what about tomorrow when your Good ol' PowerPC chip is no longer supported?

Re:Heh, great. (1)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710888)

haha, it's a laptop! The software will probably be supported longer than the hardware lasts - especially because I'm using it for live music performance in a heavy industrial-electronic band ;) Not to mention, the only thing I need vendor support for is the hardware. As long as SOMETHING runs on this machine, I'm happy - no need for the absolute latest system software, really.

Re:Heh, great. (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710929)

Fuck, Skype sucks so bad on my PowerMac / iSight I actually wound up using an old windows laptop and it's the *only* application I have running on it.

Not very smart... (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710781)

Skype must be getting ready to put some nails in their own coffin.

"Wait, you mean to tell me that I can't get as many people on a conference call because I bought the wrong brand of CPU two years ago? Looks like I'm going to another service. Bye."

Doesn't mean much... (1)

theheff (894014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710785)

A restriction on one end is just going to result in a counter-action in another part of the market by AMD... who cares about/uses skype anyways? This sounds like less of a chip issue, and more a of programming/willingness to port issue (which is ridiculous). AMD will continue to do what they do best... there's no marketing scheme that can hide a simply better product from consumers... not in our free market economy.

Processor Mask (1)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710786)

So, when will the over-achieving programmer come up with a method, on a per process basis, that will make the kernel calls report a different CPU based on which process is asking?

Skype asks "What kind of CPU are you" - kernel reports Intel.
mplayer asks "What kind of CPU are you" - kernel reports AMD.

Re:Processor Mask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710870)

It's a little trickier than that since you have to trap the CPUID instruction. But you can set breakpoints on specific addresses, so it's possible...

One more reason for me to continue... (1)

perigee369 (837140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710790)

One more reason for me to continue using AMD chips in my PC's and Vonage as my provider. Intel and Skype can go on about their business like this and they'll wind up as amoral (sp?) as Microsoft. I guess some companies just don't get it: We want our computers to 'free us' from the mundane, not tied us down to it with bungy-cords.

We'll keep on saying it... (3, Insightful)

MoogMan (442253) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710792)

... This is what you get for using a closed, proprietory technology. Use SIP (or H.323) and you're not going to get any of this "10 user max" limit crap.

Consequence of a non-free market (1)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710809)

It's plainly self-harmful to Skype to make such a deal, since it opens up their market to competitors; they've made themselves weak on AMD platforms.

Unfortunately, Skype lacks real competition, so they can do this.

They need a viable competitor; right now the market isn't free, because people lack choice of provider, so the provider can get away with stuff like this.

It's a stupid move for Skype (3, Insightful)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710836)

AMD has better and cheaper desktop chips and they keep gaining market share keeps on rising. If a user has an AMD chip and Skype will only support a 5 way conference call on AMD then I'd imagine the user would probably look to another VOIP solution instead of lookinf for a new PC with an Intel chip. It's a stupid move for Skype.

AMD is eating Intel's lunch (0)

maynard (3337) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710838)

even while being a full lithographic generation behind, and so Intel shifts their market plan to exclusive alliances. Shall we see motherboard bundling next? Perhaps they can make the ultimate deal with both Microsoft and NVIDIA and wrap the whole post Vista market up to themselves.

AMD better watch out. The leading technology innovator always loses!

If we are to have antitrust laws, now is the time (4, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710843)

Ok, if we are going to have anti-trust laws on the books, now would be a perfect time to use them. If this isn't anti-competitive behaviour then let he who holds that position define what is.

This is on a par with Ford and Exxon agreeing that unless you are burning Exxon gas your Ford's engine will be capped at half it's rated horsepower.

No conspiracy, there are technical reasons (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710844)

Skype relies on float-point inaccuracies to optimize compression of the voice streams. Since AMD features accurate floating-point math, only 5-way conferencing is supported, while Intels inaccurate floating-point math can support compression of 10-way conference calls.

Re:No conspiracy, there are technical reasons (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710982)

Pardon my lack of education, but how does thinking that 5.0 + 5.0 = 9.99999992346712 help you compress data better?

Who cares? (1)

hrieke (126185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710855)

I'm sure that as soon as it's released that the offending code will be found and patched by someone, or someone will write a program that will fool the program into thinking that it's Intel and not AMD.

C'mon Guys... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710858)

I don't know if Intel ever had ethics but these kinds of backroom business decisions are just another indication that they've clearly lost their edge. I won't be buying Intel anytime soon for the simple reason that AMD offers a better product. Maybe they should focus more on their CPU line and less on monopolizing software applications.

monopolizing practices (0, Redundant)

jdwclemson (953895) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710869)

Personally I think that practices like this should be flat out illegal, as they incourage monopolies while they hinder fair competition. That is not necessary though as we all have the right to let go of any unethical developers who choose to participate in such practices. I will avoid purchasing any software vender who does anything like this, and I think it would benefit us all to stage boycotts where ever this kind of mafia mentality is being used. Can anybody here start a Slashdot section dedicated towards staging boycotts against organizations wh odo this?

In a related announcement... (5, Funny)

kclittle (625128) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710887)

Intel has announced a deal with 3D Realms that Duke Nukem Forever will only run on their Viiv IV platform. Said Intel CEO Paul Otellini, "2009 will be a great year for us, I can just tell!".

Another stupid company (1)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710891)

This is just another example of a company not understanding the only real path to long-term successs (pleasing customers) and foolishly being tempted by the path that has been proven many times to lead to failure (forcing your own unwanted agenda upon customers).

In the end, market forces will teach Skype (just as they have taught so many other companies) that you can't place your own motives over customer satisfaction and survive in the long term.

We can beat this (1)

y86 (111726) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710894)

Isn't there a way to set a CPU Info flag in memmory to whatever the hell we want it to be?



Even better, Virtual PC......running whatever the heck i say it's running, while also running my Skype client.



Whatever the solution is, it can be rolled into a 2-5 MEG executabe library that'll just rape skype for all it's worth. I'm counting on Box.sk!

Stupid Rabbit! (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710899)

Stupid Rabbit! Tricks are for kids! I mean really, this is a stupid move for Intel. Do they really think that most computer users know or care who makes the cpu in the box? This will just end up being a headache for users and Skype as people complain when they run into this stupid artificial limitation. And the people who actually know and care who makes the cpu will be annoyed by Intel's heavy handed tactics and Skype's shortsightedness. This is just lose lose all around. When will tech companies realize that most consumers don't care about the branding of things that they fundamentally do not understand. People know the difference between Fords and Toyotas, but don't care one bit about the companies that make the crankshaft cams.

For me it's a boomerang. (0)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710902)

From this kind of news I infer that:
- Intel fights AMD with trade agreements, so it must be lagging technologically.
- Skype is not to be trusted for serious communication needs. A company that accepts such dirty tricks is likely to have already sold sensitive communication to national governments or big business or both.

E is for Ethics (1)

Cyphertube (62291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710910)

So, given these practices, I get I can now see why they lowered the "e" in the logo... It's a stylistic hint at their lowered ethical standards.

not so sure it'll backfire on Skype (3, Insightful)

Marsmensch (870400) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710940)

A lot of people are commenting that this is harmful to skype, but I'm not so certain. After all, Joe Sixpack will only know that he can conference call with all of his buddies with a intel machine, while AMD "can't handle it". The whole concept of software limitation is totally incomprehensible for the majority of the non-slashdot crowd.

AMD better start a massive PR campaign RIGHT NOW to make this backfire on Intel and Skype.

What if... (1)

ioexcptn (190408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710941)

What if I have an SMP AMD box? Do I get 5 x nCPUs conferencees?

Used to like Skype but that is just atrocious. Vonage gets my business.

Libjingle (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710959)

I am just waiting for Libjingle to be finished up and find its way into all the popular Jabber clients, and servers. Once done we won't need Skype!

STUPID. (1)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710961)

Ok, when I had a Pentium II 366 in a laptop a year or two ago, I was able to do VoIP Calls with Yahoo Chat and we had many more the 10! Why limit it at all?? Limiting it by CPU??? I'd imagine that the SEC would like to hear about this...

What do I care? (1)

Nevtje(hr (869571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14710964)

Skype is troublesome enough as it is; everytime I start it, it for some odd reason resets my internet connection... So go ahead Skype, I have l33t skillz at uninstalling stuff!

I wonder though, is this a limitation for the host of a conference or for any party wanting to partake in it? Would bring a new twist to the "hey your machine is better, you host" spin- w/out actually being a consequence of CPU while still being a consequence of CPU :)

*pats his AMD 3200+*

Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14710978)

What is the big deal with skype anyways? Who would actually use skype? People do understand that this software is brought to you by same company that gave us spyware infested Kazza, right? These guys are the last people that I would trust with my communications.
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