Also keep in mind this is what...the fifth time said "serious dialog" has come up? You'd think people would learn to take it with a grain of salt.
Personally I think Dell pulls this stuff when they want to pad a quarterly estimate, since Intel probably offers MASSIVE incentives to them to stay a loyal customer...thereby making more product available to them for cheaper, which in turn creates cheaper Dells, and leaves AMD with egg on its face for having plumed its feathers in expectation.
I choose to view it like a schoolyard kickball teammate choosing episode - AMD might have the heart, but Intel has the bigger foot and has a better reputation for kissing ass.
Part of the reason Dell goes with Intel (besides the aforementioned sugardaddy incentives) is Intel has to REALLY screw something up for their overall yield to be affected. If AMD runs into production problems (as they have in the past), Dell could be left with unfulfillable orders. Even the most adamant AMDroid has to admit Intel has AMD beat on the ability to MAKE chips.
Also let's still not forget that Intel's own motherboards are usually *about* as rock-stable as one can get (yes, I know the XPS600 desktops use the nForce4). Only third-party chipsets are available for AMD chips since the AMD-8000 was AMD's last core logic, and I think Athlon MPs are a little outdated now. It'd be yet another concern for Dell, because even if the vast majority of their CS base is in India, if they get more calls because of a less-reliable product, they'll have to pay them more!
And if Dell decides to become AMD's #1 customer of Sempron chips (because let's face it, this IS where it's going to start, not with the XPS line with the FX/X2 line), AMD might have to very well shift their processes to produce more of those to keep Dell happy, driving the cost of Opterons and Athlon FX/X2s WAY the hell up, as well as possibly even making AMD bow out of other successful enterprises such as their flash memory business.
I don't have to say what a boon this would be to Intel were AMD to shift from higher-end/mainstream to produce Dell's "value" chips. This is why I've always been afraid AMD producing for Dell could wind up making AMD a new age Cyrix. At the furthest end of the spectrum, Dell would *undoubtedly* be AMD's biggest customer...so Dell could get away with pretty much bleeding the company dry and setting it up for easy acquisition by either itself or even Microsoft. Granted, this is at the furthest extreme, but in business, you're essentially married to your best customer. AMD's had the unique ability to spread itself out - and yes I know HP/Compaq and Gateway use AMD chips and THEY haven't "annexed" them, but NEITHER of those guys has the clout or capital Dell has.
As much as people say Dell using AMD might be a boon, it might be enough strain to kill AMD (as we know it) if they haphazardly enter into a contract without checking a weather report. Let's just hope Hector Ruiz can see past the potential dollar signs.