To be honest, we didn't shed too many tears when AMD announced that it would be ditching the ATI branding in the next quarter of this year. It was a business decision, and the company was ready to move on.
However, there were some dissenting voices in the media - as well as in our own forums - from those who couldn't quite get their heads around the idea of retiring such a strong marque. Now AMD Corporate Vice President John Volkmann has gone on the record to try and further justify the decision.
"Based on the hard facts of market research undertaken in early 2010, it is clear our strongest foot forward is actually a combination of AMD and product brands such as Radeon or FirePro," he explained, adding that, "in short, we needed to make the move."
Volkmann also restated the relative strength of the AMD and Radeon brands compared to the ATI branding. Interestingly, he also made the point that brand loyalty was much stronger among those who knew about the merged company, meaning that keeping separate identities could actually be holding back sales.
Of course, another significant factor was the unfortunate truth that "processor brands (CPUs and GPUs) are largely irrelevant in the PC buying decision. Time and again, our research confirms that the average PC buyer is unaware of what processors are under the hood of their PC."
It's always appreciated when a company takes the time to address the concerns of its fans and supporters. However, this was a commercial decision by AMD - based on facts and market research - that those in charge felt was the best move to keep the company running profitably.
At the end of the day, this is all the justification that a company should ever need.