Microsoft might be thinking of buying AMD

Microsoft Headquarters
Microsoft Headquarters

According to a rumor, Microsoft might be interested in buying AMD. Lately the software giant has been acquiring a few hardware companies, will AMD be next? And what will that lead to?

Why AMD?

With AMD reflecting upon splitting or selling divisions, Microsoft might be the interested buyer, but why? It’s well-known that Microsoft uses AMD chips for Xbox. Back in 2006 Microsoft even formed a chip-division to produce chips alternative to AMD/Nvidia, however the team couldn’t really produce valid alternatives that could compete because of price and especially performance. So Microsoft might really gain a piece of cake buying what its internal division could never achieve.

Is that only a rumor?

The fact that AMD is thinking of splitting/selling units is not really a rumor, Microsoft interested in buying AMD is. However the rumor is accredited to a well-known Windows-focused site: KitGuru. Also, Microsoft has got nearly $95.3 billion cash whilst AMD is capitalized only $1.91 billion so if everything was settled by tomorrow, the operation would be immediate. Neither AMD nor Microsoft have yet spoken of the matter, so it’s still remaining a rumor. And even if the rumor should be confirmed, negotiations might be harder than one might imagine. However Microsoft would only need chips for its Xbox or maybe smartphones/tablets, but it wouldn’t need any server CPU nor any high-end graphic card. But AMD isn’t likely to sell only APUs to Microsoft since they are based on AMD server processors.

What would that cause?

If Microsoft were to buy AMD for its Xbox-related needs, its direct competitor Sony would have a difficult time building its diamond-edge product: PlayStation 4 since it uses AMD chips. In this scenario Sony would have either to pay Microsoft for its chips or venture in a new field. For Linux users, that would almost surely mean the end of line because of drivers. However that isn’t to be taken for assured, since Microsoft is slowly taking a different approach towards Open Source. This is observable in the last year through .NET open sourcing and even a possibility that Windows becomes Open Source itself.


Image courtesy of Robert Scoble.

Image courtesy of Robert Scoble

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