Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Apr 2010 18:29 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Windows Ah, Intel's IA-64 architecture. More commonly known as Itanium, it can probably be seen as a market failure by now. Intel consistently failed to deliver promised updates, and clock speeds have lagged behind. Regular x86-64 processors have already overtaken Itanium, and now Microsoft has announced that Windows Server 2008 R2 is the last version of Windows to support the architecture.
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Comment by Ravyne
by Ravyne on Tue 6th Apr 2010 00:38 UTC
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I thought Itanium was still producing strong performance in certain scientific workloads though? I wonder if Windows HPC will still continue to support it for some time -- it may not be very good for server workloads, but the only way I see Microsoft pulling out entirely is if Intel themselves are pulling out of Itanium.

Then again, nVidia and, to a lesser extent, AMD are gunning for the scientific processing market, and given the huge performance benefits GPUs exhibit for the types of jobs their good at, Itanium may soon find itself in an unsustainably-small niche.

Itanium is an interesting technology, and an even more interesting approach in breaking free of x86 compatability, but the technology, particularly on the compiler side, just isn't there in a strong enough way to make Itanium the clear win it needed to be if it was going to have any chance at surplanting x86.

Sparc failed, MIPS failed, Alpha failed (even with a huge performance advantage at the time), PowerPC failed (even after a good run), and now Itanium has seemingly failed.

I strongly believe that ARM has a real shot -- probably the best shot any competing architecture has had -- if they keep making inroads from the mobile/embedded/low-power space, and don't make the mistake of trying to compete with Intel in the desktop/mainstream market too soon (on the other hand, I'd love to see some snappy ARM-based netbooks/nettops/STBs and even thin-and-light laptops right now.)

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