AMD announces Opteron name and x86-64 Windows

— 7:36 PM on April 24, 2002

Yep, AMD annouced the Sledgehammer processors will be named Opteron. (Sledge is the hammer capable of running in multiprocessor configurations.) The initial reactions coming in via instant messages and e-mail range from mild confusion to outright disgust, but hey, everybody hated "Athlon" when it was announced, and the Athlon name has served pretty well. I'm sure they've focus-grouped "Opteron" to death. Register your own reaction in our Opteron poll.

More importantly, Opteron will be a player, because Microsoft has committed to provide a version of Windows compatible with AMD's x86-64 instruction set. Most everyone expected MS to back AMD on this, but that fact doesn't diminish the importance of this achievement. With Microsoft on board, AMD's 64-bit processors and (especially) instruction set has a chance to become the future de facto standard on the PC.

TR reader Veritas sends along a super-secret insider tip about the Microsoft-AMD announcement from a well-placed source: "His words to me: 'MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE'…take that however you want."

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