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Intel and Skype, sittin' in a tree....
Written by Gizmo   
Monday, 06 March 2006 07:13

Some of you may recall that Intel and Skype announced an 'alliance' to 'improve the number of participants and the quality of Voice over IP' at last year's IDF.

Well, it seems that alliance has borne fruit.  The latest version of Skype takes advantage of the superior capabilities of Intel dual-core hardware to allow up to 10 participants in a Skype conference call; all other CPU architectures are only allowed 5 participants.

But wait; you mean AMD dual-cores aren't allowed 10 particpants because they aren't up to it?  Even a low-end Intel dual-core can run the extra load, while even a high-end AMD dual-core cannot?  Something smells fishy.....

Seems that several others thought so as well, so Maxxuss decided to take a look at the executable and see what was up.  Turns out that the exe simply checks to see if the CPUID returns GenuineIntel and the chip has dual cores.  If the answer to both questions is true, then Skype allows 10-way conferencing, otherwise you only get 5.  So he hacked the code.  Guess what?  10-user conferences on AMD dual-cores works great!

Hmm.........this can't be a good thing to have come out right now, what with the AMD vs. Intel anti-trust thing going on.....

Anyway, if you are interested, the details of the hack can be found on Maxxuss' web site

So, what do you think?  Was this just a cheap shot by Intel, with Skype's help?  Is it possible there was a genuine concern on the part of Skype that anything other than Intel dual-cores might not be up to the task?  Tell us, in the forums!

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