Xbox creator apologizes to AMD over last-minute switch to Intel CPUs 20 years ago

kiwigraeme

Posts: 681   +512
Gates invented BASIC. That's his one truly useful contribution to computing. Everything else Microsoft did was either bought, copied or stolen outright.

Without checking - and from vague memories it was all about DOS and IBM stuffing up.
The Gates going all serious on open source - and demanding that the mold up to then on hackers, and getting free phone calls etc was over and it was now BAD and everyone should pay & pay .

TBF if he didn't monetise the wild west someone else would of
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,873   +1,923
Very true. In the grand scheme of things as far as corporate revenue, it wouldn't have been much of a dent for Intel. Might have been at least a little handy for AMD back then, I think they were running pretty lean at that time. But, as you say, there's not a lot of money in the console hardware - probably more about prestige and press than actual profit, I'd imagine.
Intel probably made an offer they couldn't refuse. It might not seem fair looking in from the outside, but these are big greedy companies so every dollar and marketing opportunity is technically fair game.

Not all incentives are nefarious.

I get that the dude is sorry, but I still want to know if the switch would have changed anything.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 662   +420
After reading this article, can anyone be surprised by the back-stabbing displayed by Bill? I'm not. PAR for the course with that guy. Sneaky, slimy, lowlife behaviour. And he's still doing it as evidenced by his recent divorce. He stabbed Melinda in the back? Who could have seen THAT coming...
 
As far as Im concerned, Microsoft did EVERYTHING RIGHT with the original XBOX

The Intel modified Coppermine cost Microsoft so much. And because of the last minute contract negotiations, Microsoft was stuck in CPU pricing for the entire lifespan of the OG Xbox. Normally, parts go down over time as manufacturing costs go down. But Microsoft basically bought the CPUs and hard drives at off-the-shelf pricing. As Intel marched forward with newer processors that were faster and cheaper, the Xbox processor was stuck in time both in performance and pricing. Microsoft hauled a$$ in discontinuing the Xbox. Not because it wasn't an amazing selling device (it sold quite well). It's because the more consoles they sold, the more money they lost (because every machine was a loss). If they had gone AMD (it would've been an AMD/Nvidia machine; back then, AMD didn't own ATI), it would've been about the same performance but much cheaper.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,056   +877
So in other words Intel played the corporate game better than AMD and the people who lost out the most were AMDs engineers. Consumers were fine and they were fine, the OG Xbox was outstanding!

Sure Im glad hes sorry, but seriously who cares? AMD are now partners with MS and feature in all their product line ups. But that isnt out of pity. AMD earned that. Who knows maybe even via scummy tactics. It wouldnt surprise me, Intel and AMD are just as scummy as each other. I pity anyone who feels otherwise.
 

passwordistaco

Posts: 58   +143
I ran a couple nForce 2 Socket A boards for years because of Dolby Digital Live - to the point of ordering new BIOS chips to revive after a bad flash, cross flashing on one board to revive another. Got some benefit from AMD's work.
 

rmcrys

Posts: 82   +78
So in other words Intel played the corporate game better than AMD [...] AMD are now partners with MS and feature in all their product line ups

Intel played better? On my town it's called played dirty, but the worse was not Intel but BG which accepted it. Again, in my town when you work with someone and at the end someone else offers more, you just stick with the person who worked with you. It's called "having principles".

You say nowadays AMD is on all MS product line?! Show me the Surface Pro, Go, Studio, etc with the AMD chip, I would love to have an SP8 with a Zen 2/3 CPU with integrated RDNA2 graphics....If MS would be so neutral, we would have an SP8 with an AMD Van Gogh line chip. And we would have much much more official AMD CPUs compatible with W11.

Conclusion: I am no fan from the company A or B but I'll try to stay away from Intel and MS. I use now a Mac Mini M1 and the speed, optimization, low consumption are fabulous; I hope Linux, Steam/Steam OS and Crossover really succeed in bringing all games to Linux/Mac OS. I want to abandon low principles' companies.
 

Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,440   +2,571
I wonder which setup offered better performance. The Intel Coppermine in the Xbox was basically Intel disposing of their left over Pentium 3 waste. The clocks were decent though and the rest of the hardware quite good for a console box in 2001. It certainly demolished the PS2 which was no slouch albeit 18 months older. The totally playable Half Life 2 port was and still is mind boggling to me.

I kind of suspect AMD had a better setup. Be interesting to know the exact intended specs of the AMD machine. Probably was a Thunderbird core.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,056   +877
Intel played better? On my town it's called played dirty, but the worse was not Intel but BG which accepted it. Again, in my town when you work with someone and at the end someone else offers more, you just stick with the person who worked with you. It's called "having principles".

You say nowadays AMD is on all MS product line?! Show me the Surface Pro, Go, Studio, etc with the AMD chip, I would love to have an SP8 with a Zen 2/3 CPU with integrated RDNA2 graphics....If MS would be so neutral, we would have an SP8 with an AMD Van Gogh line chip. And we would have much much more official AMD CPUs compatible with W11.

Conclusion: I am no fan from the company A or B but I'll try to stay away from Intel and MS. I use now a Mac Mini M1 and the speed, optimization, low consumption are fabulous; I hope Linux, Steam/Steam OS and Crossover really succeed in bringing all games to Linux/Mac OS. I want to abandon low principles' companies.
Neither AMD nor Intel have "principles". Or MS for that matter.

And yes there are Zen parts in the surface line. Not every model. Maybe you can write a strongly worded letter to MS to persuade them to change all remaining Intel models to AMD if this is something that actually matters to you?
 

Bluescreendeath

Posts: 245   +356
Good first step but how about a more contemporary apology? You could apologize for basically publishing Windows 11 with a huge regression for AMD processors that you still haven't patched as of yet (And the fix might or might not improve things, since patching already made it even worst once)

While AMD and intel both have had up and downs and traded blows, we can see little has changed over the last 20 years with intel and Microsoft being well known collaborators to the active detriment of competitors.

The designer of the original Xbox isn't responsible for creating Windows 11. This is just one man apologizing, not the entire company as a whole.
 

rmcrys

Posts: 82   +78
Neither AMD nor Intel have "principles". Or MS for that matter.

And yes there are Zen parts in the surface line. Not every model. Maybe you can write a strongly worded letter to MS to persuade them to change all remaining Intel models to AMD if this is something that actually matters to you?
I have zero products from AMD, all are Intel or Apple M1. Nevertheless I recognize how important and good is AMD and I would definitely buy an Surface Go or Pro with a "Van Gogh " chip if there was one.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,056   +877
I have zero products from AMD, all are Intel or Apple M1. Nevertheless I recognize how important and good is AMD and I would definitely buy an Surface Go or Pro with a "Van Gogh " chip if there was one.
Over the years the vast majority of my tech had been Intel based (and Apple). But I have had AMD products, typically their GPUs although Im did have an Athlon XP back in the day and the FX8350, which was the worst CPU I have ever owned by a long way. When it comes to CPUs Id buy AMD if the price was right, its a commodity and it doesnt rely on heavy software support like a GPU does. I actually have a Ryzen based ultra book atm and its fine. Im never touching Radeon again though as it really has dreadful drivers and always has. But Ryzen is fine if the price is right. I need a new CPU now but Im waiting to see if Alder lake delivers on the hype.
 
The same that Nintendo did to SONY when they were collaborating on the CD reader and 3D expansion for SNES. I imagine that deal with them for the Xbox360 hardware wasn't one too much favorable for Microsoft later. And really, the Xbox was powerful, but would have been another kind of monster with a AMD CPU then.
 

SRB

Posts: 26   +38
Bill Gates did not invent BASIC. He did get a version to run on an early PC.

The sad part is that Gates was just lucky. IBM went to Gates for a 16 bit o/s because, and only because, the guy in charge of DEC, which owned CP/M, hid from IBM when they came to him first.
If DEC wasn't led by a tin foil hat loon, we'd be running CP/M 86, and Gates would be on the outside.
 

rmcrys

Posts: 82   +78
Im never touching Radeon again though as it really has dreadful drivers and always has. But Ryzen is fine if the price is right. I need a new CPU now but Im waiting to see if Alder lake delivers on the hype.
I agree with you, Radeon are still a few levels under RTX on the hardware and software side, as they always were; on the CPU side as you need a new one, I would wait until Intel & AMD both release the new generations. Intel relies a lot on paid reviews, optimized software and very high tdp. I would wait until dust settles
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,358   +2,655
The designer of the original Xbox isn't responsible for creating Windows 11. This is just one man apologizing, not the entire company as a whole.
You're right it's not a bad thing to clarify so in case it wasn't clear: my beef isn't with a single person at Microsoft but with their policies as a whole, just thought of the irony as a jumping off point for what's going on right now that's all.