Dell-AMD partnership is supposedly official

Ever since Dell began relaxing its anti-AMD policy by incorporating Opteron processors in its server line and selling Athlon chips through its online store -- not to mention that little Alienware purchase -- there have been rumors that consumer desktops and laptops would also be outfitted with non-Intel CPUs for the first time, and now The Inquirer is reporting that a final agreement has been reached that will bring these very products to life. At a meeting which apparently took place at Michael Dell's Texas residence, the two camps reportedly concluded their courtship and began planning a series of AMD-powered machines --to be advertised as "Windows Vista Premium Ready" -- that will be available in time for the Back-to-School sales events. nVidia is said to be the manufacturer of choice for the upcoming Athlon boxes, while ATI will continue supplying graphics solutions for Intel-powered configurations and some AMD notebooks. One theory behind the deal says that even though Intel is in the midst of introducing a new architecture, most of the first-run Merom (mobile Core 2 Duo) chips have already been committed to Apple and Lenovo, so Dell needed a way to ensure that consumers wouldn't be kept waiting endlessly for back-ordered products. We're not sure about any of that, but we do know that we like having as many choices as possible when it comes to PCs, so we're sure hoping that The Inq's source is on the money here.