What is Dell’s Deal?

With all that is going on with Dell it is surprising the company would announce a plan to offer PCs with AMD processors. With earnings down from a year ago and uncertainty about an SEC probe into the company’s accounting processes, not to mention the recall of millions of laptops prone to bursting into flames, it seems like funny timing to be issuing news on anything other than addressing those other problems.

Dell’s move to AMD is also conspicuous because it indicates a growing trend toward a more competitive computer market where Microsoft and Intel do not have the absolute dominance they once did. With Apple’s market share continuing to grow and the increasing popularity of Linux and Firefox, the strategy of supporting AMD seems prescient. And one can’t help but think this move by the biggest PC manufacturer will have a lasting effect in decentralizing the market away from the Microsoft-Intel partnership.

Dell’s use of AMD chips will give the company a positive bump, but will it be enough to appease Wall Street? Or will this competitive trend in computing escalate, resulting in gains for Dell as a partner of AMD?