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SmartAdvice: Sync Business Processes Before Deploying Record-Management Systems

Integration is key to making a complex document-management system deployment successful, The Advisory Council says, but the ROI can be high. Also, AMD's leadership in introducing 32/64-bit processors merits giving 32/64-bit PCs a look-see; and learn to talk the talk of C-level execs to be a player.

Question B: With AMD gaining market share, should we consider adding AMD-based PCs and servers to our supported products list?

Our advice: Yes, along with a review of your approved system vendors.

Although AMD (Advanced Micro Devices Inc.) has been in the microprocessor business since before the IBM PC made Intel x86 the de facto standard, for many years it has been an also-ran--currently one-sixth the size of Intel. The market share gains of its Athlon processors have derived primarily from the consumer market, not from business PCs. AMD's leadership in the introduction of 32/64-bit processors changes the landscape, however, just as Compaq's 1987 introduction of the first i386-based PC broke IBM's PC leadership.

Although 32/64-bit PCs are still premature for widespread business deployment in other than bleeding-edge applications, it's not too soon for IT departments to begin evaluating them. Since Intel Xeon EM64T processors are available only in high-end technical workstation systems, not mainstream PC configurations, Athlon 64 PCs are the systems of choice for evaluating 32/64-bit technology.

Related Links
Intel Slips, AMD Gains

Microsoft Previews 64-Bit XP, Promises No Price Hikes

Shopping for AMD processors may require review of your system vendor list, however, since only Hewlett-Packard of the big-three vendors currently offers Athlon 64 PCs, and those only in consumer configurations. IBM offers AMD Opteron processors in technical workstations, while Dell's 32/64-bit offering is a technical workstation with a Xeon EM64T processor. HP and IBM, as well as Sun Microsystems, offer Opteron processors at the server level.

On the software front, Linux is ahead of Microsoft Windows in supporting 32/64-bit technology. All the major Linux vendors now support the AMD64 architecture. Windows support is still in the pre-release phase, with official release now expected in the first half of 2005. Once Windows XP x64 Edition is released, and Intel releases its EM64T processors for PCs, the battle will truly be joined between AMD and Intel for 32/64-bit market share.

-- Peter Schay

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