Itanium 2 to Launch to Lukewarm Reception - Page 3

By eweek  |  Posted 2002-07-02 Print this article Print

But perhaps Itaniums biggest competition comes from Intel itself and its success in developing and selling ever faster performing 32-Xeon chips designed for workstations and servers. The growing adoption of Xeon chips by small- to large-scale businesses has significantly reduced the potential market for Itanium, Iams said. "So now theres really no reason for the vast majority of traditional users of Windows and industry-standard servers to move up to Itanium because it turns out you can get fantastic performance improvements just by staying on 32 bits," he said.
Even Intel, one of the worlds largest high-tech companies, noted a couple of years ago that it ran all of its critical business applications on 32-bit Xeon servers.
Nevertheless, Intel remains fully committed to Itanium, having already spent about $1 billion developing the chip and $500 million in funding software support for it, according to industry analysts. As the worlds largest PC and server chip maker, Intel also has the ability to leverage its close ties to many of the worlds leading computer manufacturers to assure that Itanium 2-based systems will be widely available within weeks of the products launch. Leading up to the chips debut, Intel has assured that more than 40 computer vendors will announce systems based on the chip, with more than 10 offering complex, high-end servers featuring eight or more processors. Leading software makers have also pledged their support and have committed to offering Itanium-compatible applications, including HPs HP-UX operating system, a 64-bit version of Microsofts Windows, the Linux community, Oracle, BEA Systems Inc. and others. But perhaps the greatest obstacle to Itaniums success may not come from competitors, but from a weak global economy that has spurred a worldwide cutback in IT spending. Even Intel lowered its sales forecasts for the quarter, citing weaker than expected demand. Given the harsh economic climate and formidable, entrenched competitors, market analysts say that it could be five years or more before Intel sees any profit from its heavy investment in Itanium. Related stories:
  • Sun Looks to One-Up Itanium 2 Servers
  • Partnerships Key to Itanium 2 Push
  • Intel Findings Show Itanium 2 Beats Sun Server in Performance
  • Russian "Itanium Killer" Isnt Dead Yet (ExtremeTech)
  • Itanium to Drive HP Servers
  • Intel Recommits to Itanium


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