Now that Intel's 5500-series Xeons are out, some folks with AMD servers are probably thinking of making the jump. That's perhaps why AMD has announced its Opteron Upgrade Program, which allows customers to get potentially meaty discounts on upgrades to current and future Opteron processors.
The program covers 2000- and 8000-series Opterons, be they dual-, quad-core, or future six-core parts (code-named Istanbul). AMD says "channel partners and customers" can get $50 off 2000-series Opteron upgrades and $100 off 8000-series Opteron upgrades, which can translate into savings of up to 35% depending on the processor.
Current Opteron users have an extra incentive to stick with AMD, too, although that one isn't anything new: 65nm and 45nm Opterons share the same socket design, architecture, and power envelopes, so new Shanghai chips can be drop-in upgrades for older servers. (AMD even links a YouTube video of that upgrade process in its press release.) By contrast, getting on the Xeon 5500 bandwagon involves buying new motherboards or servers with Tylersburg chipsets and LGA1366-style sockets.