Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 23rd Dec 2010 19:19 UTC
Windows The rumours about Windows possibly being ported to ARM has left a lot of people bewildered; why would you port Windows NT when Windows CE 6.0 is a perfectly capable operating system? Putting all the pieces together, it's actually quite clear why you would want Windows NT on ARM: servers.
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mbpark
Member since:
2005-11-17

It's not a cost-cutting issue, those platforms just did not sell at all or had really bad marketing.

Compaq killed the Alpha right before Windows 2000, despite the fact that it was the most powerful platform at the time to run Exchange or SQL Server on. I saw 64-bit Windows 2000 running 64-bit SQL Server 2000 at PC Expo in 1999 at the Javits Center. It smoked everything x86 at the time. However, Compaq must have learned their marketing lessons from Commodore because it was never publicly released, and soon after, the Alpha line was killed off. There was genuine demand for their products, but they managed to screw it up.

The MIPS and PowerPC platforms also did not sell at all. They didn't sell much with anything other than UNIX or Mac OS on them. They both got killed after Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 3. There was no way Steve Jobs was going to allow Windows to run on a Mac right after the clones (now is a different story!), which took away 90%+ of the PPC machines out there, and since this was soon after Microsoft gave the finger to IBM with OS/2, no way you were going to have it running on their POWER HW.

The Itanium managed to stick around until Windows Server 2008 R2. After this one, it's gone, and the only big-name OSes you will be able to get for an Itanic will be Linux, OpenVMS, NetBSD, and HP-UX. I'm sure there still will be ports of various other OSes, but it'll be pretty much dead outside of HP.

Microsoft is the kind of company that can afford to have multiple "Project Marklar" operations running. I'm sure that they have Windows running on ARM, MIPS (the Chinese variant), IBM POWER, and several other architectures (I'm guessing SPARC64).

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