NEWS - Thursday, June 2, 2005

ATI Wants To Work With Microsoft

ATI wants to continue working with Microsoft But the decision rests with Microsoft for various reasons ATI has hinted that it wants to partner with Microsoft for the long haul following its involvement on the company’s next-generation games console, Xbox 360, which is due to ship later this year with an ATI graphics part at its core. "Our view is that when we enter a partnership like Xbox with Microsoft, it’s not a one-shot. It’s really a launch on a long-term partnership," said ATI CEO Dave Orton, speaking to Reuters during a technology seminar in Taipei. Orton said he sees ATI starting "to look much more like a PC/digital consumer company, not a PC company that’s dabbling in digital consumer" - from which it’s easy to infer that ATI would like to produce the next round of graphics technology for Microsoft whenever the latter next decides to iterate its gaming platforms. But Orton’s comments also suggest ATI wants to partner on more than simply gaming consoles. Microsoft has made no secret of its keenness to expand in various multimedia sectors, and Orton thinks ATI can be a part of that too, identifying an opportunity "to do much more together in a range of devices". "That’s what we want to do because we believe this technology is ultimately redeployable in different forms," he added. "That’s what we hope ultimately Microsoft will decide." However ATI is relying on Microsoft to support it, to a certain extent, as the Redmond-based computing giant reportedly owns the designs and rights to all Xbox 360 components, including ATI’s chip. Therefore, should it choose to stop working with ATI, Microsoft is unlikely to run into the sorts of problems it did moving away from its first-generation Xbox partnership with NVIDIA, whose ownership of the graphics processing unit design gave Microsoft a headache when it came to ensuring backwards compatibility in 360 - an issue it has still to resolve completely.


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