Intel Not Shaken by Microsoft's Itanium Phase Out

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that it will be ending support for Intel's Itanium IA64 architecture after Windows Server 2008 R2's extended support runs out in eight years' time. While having the world's largest software maker saying that it'll no longer be supporting your technology may worry most companies, Intel isn't one of them.

In fact, most of the Itanium servers around the world do not run Microsoft Windows as Patrick Ward, an Intel spokesperson, explained to Xbit Labs: "Windows represents less than 6% of current Itanium sales according to IDC's Q3 2009 server tracker report. Most Itanium users run Unix, specifically HP-UX. Those customers would argue that the combination of HP-UX and the Itanium platform represent a very formidable mission-critical solution, which many of the world's leading companies have chosen."

Intel may have launched its impressive Nehalem-EX architecture in the new Xeon 7500 processor line, the chipmaker still sees the Itanium as the choice for mission critical customers.

"For pure performance, you might go with Xeon processors, but the mission critical customers Itanium targets are most interested in reliability, serviceability and availability features across the operating system, processors and other aspects of their enterprise computing infrastructure. Processor performance is only one aspect of what interests them," said Ward.

So, even though Microsoft and Red Hat have decided to leave Itanium support by the wayside, Intel sees a continued need for its IA64 processor technology.

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  • eddieroolz
    Intel of course wouldn't admit that it would be concerned even if it was. Either way, like this article points out, it's not like Windows had a large share with IA-64 anyway.
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  • alextheblue
    "Only six percent of Itanium systems run Microsoft Windows."
    "Windows represents less than 6% of current Itanium sales"

    So... is it 6 of current sales, or 6% of whats already deployed?

    "So, even though Microsoft and Red Hat have decided to leave Itanium support by the wayside, Intel sees a continued need for its IA64 processor technology."

    Did you expect Intel to say anything different? Even if Intel themselves were dropping support for IA64 themselves, next week, they wouldn't say anything different.
    5
  • michaelahess
    I've never had issues with xeon reliability, not sure how Intel can pitch the Itanium as more reliable. I've had xeon systems running for over 10 years straight with hardly more than the occasional reboot. In clusters, there's just nothing that can knock them down, for much less than the Itanium.
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