By delaying the R600 from March to May, ATI suffered a big black eye, but the numbers on the bottom line won't really matter much. The defections should be minimal, Nvidia still does not have a functional G80 driver out, so the pressure is not all there. Neither side has the DX10 mid and low range parts out, and the R600 delay does not seem to have affected this schedule. There is nothing here that can not be fixed with a good deal of kissing up.
As I have been saying since we broke the AMD buys ATI story, I have one hope for the merger, that is AMD will instill the engineering discipline in ATI that they should have had over the last few years. I will forget for a moment that AMD's engineering discipline has seriously fallen off the rails lately, the potential is still there.
What do I mean? The high-end graphics parts are a bellwether for a graphics company, this is the part you look at to see what they are capable of designing unfettered by most constraints imposed by reality and marketing. It is a showcase that makes little bottom line impact but costs a lot.
The cold hard reality is that ATI has badly screwed up the last three generations of its showcase product. The R520 was so late it was pointless, the R580 less so but still not good, and the R600 was supposed to be a late 2006 product that is currently looking like a mid-07 launch. It was about where the 8800 is in performance, roughly equal in DX9 and way ahead in DX10 games that don't exist.
Lets hope the R700, which will be the first product fully developed under AMD's umbrella, will be better than the upcoming R600 mess.