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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