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Itanium Suffers Blow from Microsoft Blow-Off

The Itanium processor is a curious thing. It was designed by Intel to be the next big thing. But Intel had its own next big thing -- powerful x86/64 chips that weren't only fast but backwards-compatible. Intel nearly killed its own creation.

But Itanium fans, in particular HP, never gave up and the processor kept moving forward. Like IBM's Power6, Itanium drives high-power, high-capacity data center servers largely running Unix and Linux. (I recently interviewed the head of the Itanium Solutions Alliance and got a fascinating look at where the chip stands.)

But unlike Power6, Itanium could run Microsoft apps. That won't be the case forever as Microsoft will be discontinuing Itanium versions of Windows Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2. Microsoft is giving plenty of warning: Extended Support for Windows Server won't end for more than eight years!

Do you use Power6, SPARC or Itanium? Tell us why at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on April 07, 2010 at 11:53 AM