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Microsoft pulls plug on Itanium

Microsoft is to drop support for Intel's Itanium processor with the next version of its Windows Server OS. The outfit announced the bombshell in a blog posting here on Friday.

The announcement leaves Intel's much-troubled 64-bit non-X86 processor with nary a port in any storm.

Red Hat already dumped the anachronistic beast, having announced in January that its Linux support for the platform would cease come the next version. Now Microsoft has landed a eye-watering boot right in the cobblers supporting the Itanic.

"Windows Server 2008 R2 will be the last version of Windows Server to support the Intel Itanium architecture," bogged Dan Reger , a Microsoft senior technical product manager. "SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010 are also the last versions to support Itanium."

At a London press event last week, Intel rejected suggestions that its new multi-core Xeon 7500 series processors would finally kill off the Itanium. "Noo, nooo, noooo," the spokesmen told questionmeister Veitch.

But now that Ballmer's boys have thrust a dagger in its back, the lumbering juggernaut must be on its last legs.

Reger bogged: "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," he wrote.

Microsoft said it continue to support Itanium-based systems until July 2013 with extended support ending in July 2018,

HP and IBM still have Itanic flavoured offerings - for now.