Having just got into bed with Microsoft, Dell is now beckoning AMD to join it for a threesome.

Not that Dell doesn't take relationships seriously. It does not have one-night stands and selects its partners seriously and slowly. They had better perform too - witness poor Maxtor which lost a hard disk contract earlier this year and had to re-qualify its product.

But the public agonising over whether Dell is actually going to use AMD chips in some of its products is becoming silly. The people at AMD might well think they are being used to make Intel jealous and bring its prices down.

In Paris yesterday, Dell chief exec Kevin Rollins went out of his way to praise AMD products, saying AMD had a technological edge over Intel in some areas. If Dell were to use AMD then it would probably be in servers and possibly in the 64-bit area.

There is lots of interest in Intel losing sole supplier status with Dell but why does Dell stoke it up by responding "Yes, maybe" to questions about it? It is close-mouthed about questions of direction and OEM supply in other areas such as storage and networking, so why it is willing to be publicly coy with chips is a mystery.