Microsoft announced plans to phase out support for Intel’s 64-bit Itanium in favor of a x86 64-bit architecture, according to CNET News. In a blog post on the move, Windows Server senior technical product manager Dan Reger commented:
The natural evolution of the x86 64-bit (‘x64’) architecture has led to the creation of processors and servers which deliver the scalability and reliability needed for today’s ‘mission-critical’ workloads. Just this week, both Intel and AMD have released new high core-count processors, and servers with eight or more x64 processors have now been announced by a full dozen server manufacturers. Such servers contain 64 to 96 processor cores, with more on the horizon.
Microsoft’s announcement is the latest shot in what Rob Enderle calls the core wars over at IT Business Edge.
While the news seems like a major blow to Itanium, about 80 percent of Itanium sales are to HP, says analyst Joe Clabby. He does, however, project that HP will eventually end its support for Itanium in due time, ServerWatch reports.