More on why Itanium is the wrong processor for volume usage

Intel has delayed by months the release of the next three major versions of the Itanium processor, a new blow for the processor family. But the chipmaker also plans a change it said will boost the performance of its more widely used Xeon line.

The next Itanium, a major revision code-named Montecito, recently had been scheduled for debut this year, holding volume production until the first quarter of 2006 so the chipmaker can address quality problems. Now, however, it will debut in mid-2006, spokeswoman Erica Fields said Monday. Its successor, "Montvale," was pushed from late 2006 to 2007, and the next major redesign, "Tukwila," was pushed from 2007 to 2008.

Microsoft's Longhorn Server version of Windows will support Intel's Itanium processor, but only for a limited number of higher-end jobs, the software company said Friday.

Intel in recent years has positioned Itanium chiefly as a processor for powerful multiprocessor servers, a prestigious market, but one much smaller than originally envisioned. Microsoft's move essentially reinforces this big-iron positioning.

"Longhorn Server for Itanium won't run all workloads," a Microsoft representative said in a statement.

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