Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, has announced that the company will not continue to support Intel's Itanium platform, after the software giant releases its own line of server related tools and software.
The announcement was made on Microsoft's Server Division Weblog by Dan Reger, the Senior Technical Product Manager for Windows Server line, who wrote that Windows Server 2008 R2 is going to be the last version of Windows Server to support Itanium, along with SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010.
Commenting on the company's decision to do away with Intel's chip, Dan wrote on the blog post that “Having been involved in Windows Server support for Alpha processors in the past, and seeing many of the early chapters of 64-bit Windows Server written on Intel’s Itanium architecture.”
The company said that the reason they have dropped the support for Itanium due to the growing advancement of x86 64-bit chips from AMD and ironically from Intel itself. The company said that Windows Server 2008 R2 is capable of handling multiple cores that come with x86 64-bit chips.
Industry experts believe that Microsoft might be able to reduce the costs of maintaining an additional platform, along with the promotion and marketing costs of Windows.
The launch of the new Xeon processors, especially the 6500 and 7500 series, in the past few weeks have made Intel's defence of the Itanium range more and more precarious. This is especially true as the new range offers 20 RAS features that were previously reserved for an elite.