Microsoft has finally sounded the death knell for Intel's ill-fated Itanium processor, with support being dropped following the release of Windows Server 2008 R2.
In a post to the Windows Server Division WebLog
- via ARN
- senior technical product manager Dan Reger explains that "Windows Server 2008 R2 will be the last version of Windows Server to support the Intel Itanium architecture,
" along with SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010.
Reger was quick to quell fears that customers who have invested heavily in Itanium-based systems would be left out in the cold, promising "8 more years of [extended] support
" for existing Itanium-compatible operating systems, but explains that "Microsoft will continue to focus on the x64 architecture, and it’s new business-critical role, while we continue to support Itanium customers for the next 8 years as this transition is completed.
Intel's Itanium processor - which used Intel's own IA-64 architecture, unlike the company's later x86-64 processors - was never a particular success in the marketplace, with the processor line having been given the nickname Itanic
early in its life - an image which stuck as the company developed x86-64 processors which left the Itanium line standing.
Although Intel released a new, quad-core edition of the Itanium range back in February, Microsoft's decision to end support could spell the final death knell for the IA-64 architecture as a whole - news which will likely come as a blow to those companies still offering Itanium-based systems, including Hitachi, SGI, and HP.
Are you sad to see Intel's grand 64-bit experiment bite the dust, or was the IA-64 architecture a mistake from the beginning? Share your thoughts over in the forums