Intel and AMD constantly strive to out-do each other in bringing faster and more capable processors to market. In late 2003 and into 2004, each company will be ramping up its new-generation desktop processors. Although the current Athlon XP and Pentium 4 processors will continue to sell in large numbers throughout 2003 and into 2004, the future definitely belongs to these new processor lines. AMD hopes to get a foothold in the corporate market and to increase their general market share with their new desktop processors, but Intel has some plans of its own to protect its 80%+ general market share and its nearly 100% corporate market share.
As we write this in July 2003, only the Opteron processor is shipping, and only in limited numbers. The Athlon 64 and the Prescott/Pentium 5 are not yet shipping and we have been unable to get pre-production samples from AMD and Intel. Accordingly, much of this section is speculative, based on published information that is subject to change, industry rumors, and informed speculation. However, we thought it worthwhile to include the best information we had available as we went to press, because even imperfect or incomplete information may be useful to our readers.