Itanium had one real aim: kill DEC's Alpha chips and it succeeded in this.
>> Itanium had one real aim: kill DEC's Alpha chips and it succeeded in this.
Intel didn't need to kill HP's Alpha chips, it was already a zombie after Compaq bought DEC and before both became part of HP.
And it's not just AXP that got extinct in favor of x86/x64, the same is true for MIPS, PowerPC and PA-RISC.
>> Other than that, Intel knew better than anyone else that keeping x86 largely the way it was, was the best to way to enforce lock-in.
You mean the lock-in that comes through x86, an architecture for which a number of 3rd parties (like AMD) hold x86 licenses so they can make their own x86 processors, versus the open nature of a processor design that is wholly owned, controlled by intel (Alpha AXP)???
>> Switching architectures imposed huge costs for developers and users, who were supposed to be the same software twice. Even now, with heaps of excellent compilers, it's still by far the dominant desktop and server chip because migration on Windows is not entirely possible, expensive and not necessarily faster.
That sentence doesn't make sense. Switching architectures can be difficult but for a lot of modern software it's not a massive issue (just look at the number of architectures Linux supports, including esoteric stuff like S390).
Modern Windows is based on WindowsNT which was designed around multiple platforms (NT supported x86, Alpha AXP, MIPS and PowerPC), and later included support for IA64 (Itanium) and ARM as well. And Windows ARM shows that, in fact, migration isn't a huge deal, as it already comes with a very decent x86/x64 emulation layer so the majority of x86/x64 programs run just fine.
>> Microsoft is preparing for an x86_64 only world with probably only the huge investments that companies have made around 32-bit version of MS Excel holding it back. That, and people still wanting to buy their own machines rather than renting them from Microsoft.
Microsoft doesn't give a damn about the architecture (aside from the fact that Azure already runs both x86 and ARM), because for them it doesn't matter. As long as businesses voluntarily enslave themselves to the Microsoft ecosystem of applications and services they are ensured a steady revenue stream.