Microsoft calls time on Itanium support
Microsoft will bring an end to support for Intel’s Itanium architecture with Windows Server 2008 R2.
The software giant dropped desktop Itanium support with the release of Windows Vista, and is now claiming the evolution of 64-bit hardware has rendered the technology redundant in most scenarios.
“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,” said Windows Server senior technical product manager Dan Reger on the company blog.
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
“Just this week, both Intel and AMD have released new high core-count processors, and servers with eight or more x64 processors have now been announced by a full dozen server manufacturers. Such servers contain 64 to 96 processor cores, with more on the horizon,” he concluded.
The move represents a further blow to Itanium, which was dropped by Red Hat last year, with the company claiming the numbers sold didn’t make continuing support worthwhile.
Microsoft also said that SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010 will be the last versions to support the Intel chip. However, while Itanium may appear to be on its last legs, there’s still some life left in the technology.
“Mainstream support for Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems (and R2) will end on 9 July, 2013, while extended support will continue until 10 July, 2018. That’s eight more years of support,” noted Reger.