Advanced Micro Devices has eked out a slight lead over Intel in the battle over entertainment PCs, but it's still very early in the game. Think of it as AMD winning the Iowa caucus.
Desktops based around the AMD Live platform have outsold Intel's Viiv PCs in U.S. retail since August, according to Toni DuBoise, an analyst at Current Analysis.
In July, both Live and Viiv accounted for 8 percent of the desktop U.S. retail market each. In August, Live moved up to 9 percent while Viiv stayed at 8 percent. In September, Live moved up to 12 percent while Live accounted for 11 percent. In October, Live jumped to 17 percent and Live moved to 15 percent.
DuBoise cautioned against any hasty conclusions about the superiority of one company's strategy over another. AMD pitches Live as a modified PC geared to make it easier to store or retrieve music and movies. Intel says the same about Viiv but has put more marketing into it and touts Viiv as a nerve center for home entertainment. Intel has also tried to strike more deals with content players to enhance the Viiv experience.
"Suffice to say that AMD??s LIVE! successes are based more on compelling price points rather than the digital entertainment PC aspects," she wrote in an email. "Entertainment PCs have yet to truly seed in consumer consciousness, which is not to let Intel off the hook for not coming out with the enriched digital content promised at the release of Viiv."
Intel CEO Paul Otellini toward the beginning of the year said he wanted to see more Viivs sold than Centrinos sold the first year that laptop platform came out.
As a side note, neither AMD nor Intel make the Live and Viiv computers. Instead, they make the chips and have created the blueprint, or platform, for PC makers to assemble these PCs.