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A potent combination of fear, opportunity and respect has spurred Intel’s nominal competitors to support the untried technology, giving Intel every appearance at least of being the de facto leader in 64-bit computing before it has even shipped a product. You could say that there was some fear there maybe, or at least concern, ” acknowledged Ron Curry, Intel’s senior vice president in charge of the server division. “They (competitors) had seen how powerful the idea of standard building blocks had been in other markets, and they didn’t want to be left out.”.
From that perspective, Intel’s approach is very similar to what it has done in other markets, Curry said, offering customers comparable performance at a lower price, with the added benefit of creating a hardware platform that’s essentially the same no matter what company you buy it essie ballet slippers gel from, Intel’s success at defining standards is what convinced HP to join forces with Intel in 1993, After comparing notes with Intel, Palo Alto-based HP turned over the technology it had developed for its next generation of computer processors to Intel so that it could get in on the ground floor of the Itanium..
“Our choice was that we could either fight it, and eventually lose, or we could join with it and help shape it, ” recalled Dick Lampman, director of HP Labs and one of the early designers of the technology that would provide the new software architecture for Intel’s 64-bit processor design. “We decided we would join with it.”. By distancing itself from Microsoft’s operating systems, however slightly, Intel also is in a position to offer its rivals a carrot along with the stick:a chance to fend off Microsoft.
If they support the emerging Intel Itanium essie ballet slippers gel standard, HP and other makers of Unix servers have the chance to lock in a leading position for Unix, preventing Microsoft from taking over servers the way it did PCs, “Companies like HP could still add value through services, support and expertise, ” Lampman said, With Intel willing to support multiple operating systems, traditional Unix companies see a way of getting the cost savings of standardized hardware while still being able to offer a unique product through their own software..
“I think for most of these companies, they are seeing that it’s just not worth their while to try and add value to a system through the processor, ” said Intel’s Otellini. Indeed, Intel’s approach could mean a greater opportunity for companies like Sun and IBM, which hope to sell their versions of Unix to traditional, less sophisticated PC makers that are trying to move into higher-end systems. “We’re very excited about this opportunity, ” said Rajiv Samant, general manager of IBM’s Unix brand and the manager of Project Monterey, a joint effort between IBM, Intel and the Santa Cruz Operation.
The essie ballet slippers gel purpose of Project Monterey is to develop a basic version of Unix that can be distributed through the same PC makers that made Microsoft so successful, “The viability of an operating system is largely dependent on its sales, ” Samant said, If IBM can gain customers for Project Monterey, it could create an environment that would challenge Microsoft’s dominance in a number of markets, Intel’s success in making this whole transition isn’t assured, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., which competes with Intel on PC chips, is developing its own entry-level 64-bit chip line that so far has received positive reviews..
And some of the allies Intel is counting on the most are hedging their bets. HP and SGI, although promising to move fully to the Itanium in the future, intend to keep developing their own in-house processors as well. IBM expects to keep producing its own Power chip for the foreseeable future. And Sun, while it will offer a version of its Solaris operating system for the Itanium, doesn’t plan to sell Intel-based systems itself. “Given (Intel’s) proven capabilities, you don’t want to say they won’t succeed, ” said Greg Papadopoulos, vice president and chief technology officer for Sun. “But I think there’s a question of whether their market approach . . . that worked so well in the desktop space can really translate to success in this market. I’m not going to say they can’t do it, but I don’t think it falls that way.”.
Instead, Sun hopes that Itanium will provide it with a platform to attack Microsoft’s Windows 2000 operating system in mid-range systems, expanding Solaris into machines made by PC vendors like Dell Computer Corp, Meanwhile, Sun hopes the lucrative high-end server market will stay in the hands of the traditional Unix companies, Intel doesn’t deny that the high-end server market is very different from the PC world, But Intel’s Curry said that the traditional customers for essie ballet slippers gel Unix systems are also demanding standardization..