AMD steps up corporate PC push to compete with Intel

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AMD steps up corporate PC push to compete with Intel
The upcoming Web Services for Management (WS-Man) standards include the Desktop and Mobile Architecture for System Hardware (Dash).

AMD's open source tool is an apparent attempt to compete with Intel's vPro platform for enterprise desktop systems.

AMD is preparing to officially release its Simfire management tools at the Microsoft Management Summit in San Diego later this week. 

The open source software allows system builders to verify Dash compliance for their hardware, which in turn ensures that systems can be maintained by software such as Altiris, LANdesk and Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager. 

"Having these developer tools available will help hardware and software vendors enhance the interoperability of their solutions with Dash," Margaret Lewis, director of commercial solutions at AMD, said.

The Dash standard allows for remote desktop management, letting IT staff push updates and security alerts, and boot up PCs, without requiring physical access to a system.

The new WS-Man standard expands on and replaces the existing Alert Standard Format (ASF).

The standard will allow system builders to design desktop computers with AMD processors that mimic the functionality of Intel's vPro enterprise desktop platform.

The current version of vPro relies heavily on Intel's proprietary Active Management Technology. The chipmaker revealed earlier this month that it will add support for the new WS-Man standards by the second half of this year.

Intel's platform limits the choices that OEMs can make, argued Lewis. "Many of the current ASF systems use Broadcom's Ethernet Controllers. We do not want to go to our OEM vendors and say that they cannot use Broadcom," he said.

"We do not find that our customers want to buy one specific skew of one OEM's product. We have end users that want both ours and competitors' components in their products."

But Intel argues that its platforms and the hardware choices that it prescribes ensure a consistent and stable customer experience.

The chipmaker has declared vPro a commercial success, pointing out that four of the five major OEMs produce vPro systems today.

The stall-out is Dell which does not sell any vPro systems. The world's second largest computer maker had complained that vPro lacks openness.
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