Itanium proponents make $10 billion bet in Vegas

Las Vegas (NV) - Take it from somebody who voluntarily covered the Atari ST computer for four years: When your job is to promote an "alternative platform," even your own monumental victories can get covered up by the majority platform's everyday mediocrities. For example, yesterday in a gala announcement, the nine founding members of the Itanium Solutions Alliance, including Intel, announced they would collectively contribute $10 billion toward research, marketing, capital expenditures, and software development, all with the goal of furthering Itanium as a viable technical computing platform.

The announcement came as part of a gala meeting of the Executive League of the ISA in Las Vegas - a group made up of representatives from Bull, Fujitsu, Fujitsu-Siemens Computers, Hitachi, HP, Intel, NEC, SGI, and Unisys. There, the founders welcomed the arrival of new members such as software manufacturers SAP and SWsoft, and big iron manufacturer Platform Solutions. We covered the initial founding of the ISA last September.

But despite that record payoff, even for Vegas, the Alliance's announcement was squashed yesterday by Microsoft's quarterly results report, which overlapped it almost precisely. It seems that, even when the alternative players come together with the big boys, they just can't catch a break.