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Oracle drops Itanium after Intel 'focuses on x86 chips'

Follows Microsoft and Red Hat out the door
Wed Mar 23 2011, 11:42

ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE BEHEMOTH Oracle is the latest software firm to dump support for Intel's Itanium architecture.

Following conversations with Chipzilla's senior management, Oracle took the decision to stop writing software for the Itanic. Reuters reports that Intel management told Oracle that its "strategic focus was on x86 processors".

Such a statement by Intel should put paid to speculation that it still sees Itanium as its big hope for enterprise servers. Oracle's decision follows similar ones made by Microsoft and Red Hat, with both firms removing support for the architecture in future products.

While Oracle will stop writing software for the Itanic, the outfit confirmed that it will continue to support customers that already run workloads on Itanium servers.

The decision to walk away from Itanium and refocus its efforts on X86 must have been painful for Intel, as the firm spent huge sums of cash trying to make Itanium successful. However, despite Intel's deep relationships with many server vendors, it failed to make Itanium take off, with many server OEMs dropping the chip in favour of Intel's own x86 based Xeon chip.

The final bell for Itanium rang when enterprise software firms decided to stop supporting the architecture. After all, what's the point of making a buying decision that lasts for a decade if there won't be software support?

And with software houses having dropped support, it seems that even Intel has decided to move on. µ


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