August 18, 2006 was a big day for AMD. On that date, Dell officially announced plans to start selling Dimension desktop PCs based on AMD's processor, finally ending its long-time exclusive partnership with Intel. The move was likely instrumental in helping AMD conserve its market share as Intel unveiled the Core 2 Duo.
Barely two years later, the magic may have worn off. DailyTech reports that Dell posted a notice on its website to say its AMD PCs were now available only at retail stores. The notice has since been taken down, and Dell systems with AMD chips (like the Latitude D531 and the Inspiron 531) are still available online. However, we did see the notice after a search for "AMD" on Dell's website, and it read verbatim, "Shop for Dell computers with AMD processors in retail stores. See our retail partners for details. . . . Computers with AMD processors are not available online."
The notice's appearance does hint that Dell could be ready to change its partnership with AMD and phase out AMD-based offerings from its online business. This potential move might be a result of AMD's recent woes—both financial and technical—and its failure to snatch the performance crown back from Intel. Of course, those problems haven't stopped other PC makers like Gateway from offering Phenom-based systems.