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NEW YORK—Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc. have all jumped onto the Opteron bandwagon. Dell Inc. remains the only top-tier server maker yet to adopt the 64-bit processor.

However, if Hector de Ruiz is to be believed, Dell will be signing on, and maybe sooner than later.

At an event here Thursday marking the one-year anniversary of the launch of the processor, Ruiz, chairman and CEO of Opteron maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc., said it’s in Dell’s nature to follow industry trends, and as more customers push for Opteron-based systems, Dell will surely jump into the fray.
“I’ve always thought that Dell does not like to be a leader in technology, that they were a strong follower,” said Ruiz, speaking to more than 100 business partners, reporters and analysts. “But I didn’t realize they were going to be dead last [with Opteron].”

However, Dell, of Round Rock, Texas, will eventually come around as customer demand swells, he said. Ruiz added that he knew of two major businesses who said they would not buy from Dell because the company doesn’t have Opteron-based systems.

“Dell will do what a great company always does,” Ruiz said. “It listens to its customers. I believe Dell will be here when we have our two-year anniversary of Opteron.”

Dell officials have said they continue to evaluate the processor, but have no immediate plans to incorporate it into any of its servers. Several sources here said they have not heard of any timeline for Dell to use Opteron.

AMD, of Sunnyvale, Calif., launched Opteron last April, saying it marked a significant departure from what rival Intel Corp. was offering with its 64-bit processor, Itanium. Unlike Itanium, Opteron can run 32-bit x86 applications as well as 64-bit software. This enables customers to protect the millions of dollars invested in their 32-bit applications while beginning down the road to 64-bit computing.

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