AMD Marketing Horrible
AMD has been marketing the ghost of Opteron future (Barcelona) for about six months. It needs to sell what is on its truck.
Opteron is pretty good against Woodcrest today. In many areas Opteron performance is solid or better than Woodcrest. There are others where Woodcrest has no or limited benchmark results, such as TPC-H and SPECjAppServer.
Opteron also outperforms Woodcrest as a VMware virtualization platform. See:
Clovertown only provides a 1.3X to 1.5X improvement on many workloads, the exception being workloads which are highly threaded and can reside in cache, like SPECjbb. Most customers I deal with are not buying Clovertowns, but are buying Woodcrest over Opteron.
AMD should never have lost one point of market share to Woodcrest in the HPC market. Opteron floating point performance is solid compared to Woodcrest, Barcelona, with four floats per clock, will be stellar for HPC, and the whole "hybrid computing" concept behind the ATI acquisition is well-suited for HPC. But AMD just completely dropped the ball.
AMD could have easily pidgenholed Clovertown into a niche, and positioned it as the equivalent of the Pentium Ds of a few years ago. Then it could have picked its fight with Woodcrest on its terms. It could have clearly attacked Intel's Tulsa XeonMP chips, especially in the VMware space.
Instead, AMD chose to sell futures. The problem with selling futures is they don't generate revenue. And now AMD has to deal with all of the negative press due to its financial performance.