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Users Benefit as Intel Pushes Pentium III and Microsoft Battles Lawsuits

Posted February 22, 1999

— Intel's newPentium III chipfinds its way into new computers this week. The chip comes asMicrosoftgets hit with lawsuits claiming users have paid too much for some of its products.

Computers are much worse than cars when it comes to loss of value with model changes.

Intel's Pentium III offers some increased speed with the initial offering, but it comes at a high price.Advanced Micro Devices'newK6-III chipis close on the new Pentium's heels.

Intel is spending a bundle pushing the newest Pentium chip. TV ads can even be downloaded on the Web site. The music comes from the Triangle's Squirrel Nut Zippers.

The first Pentium IIIs will be 450 megahertz moving to 500 quickly. The chip will feature 70 new graphics instructions, which should improve graphics and streaming video and audio. The changes will benefit gamers and high end graphics users.

Stores will be lowering prices on the "almost as fast" Pentium II equipped computers. Those will be the great buys because Intel will likely jack speeds of the Pentium III to the 1,000 megahertz range by year end.

AMD's new K6-III with its popular 3DNow! technology is less expensive than the new Intel chip. Some tests even show AMD outperforming the Pentium III.

The Web carries reports that Microsoft faces two class action lawsuits; one in the state of California, another in federal court. Both suits claim consumers pay too much forMicrosoft WindowsandMicrosoft Office.

If Microsoft is found guilty it faces paying millions in compensatory damages to hundreds of thousands of consumers.

It is not clear whether North Carolina consumers will benefit from a ruling against Microsoft.

Anyone currently shopping for a computer should keep checking prices because they will begin falling soon.

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