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Dell plans Linux on Itanium 2

Hardware giant Dell is to offer Linux on Itanium 2 processors later this year, according to the company’s chief operating officer...

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Hardware giant Dell is to offer Linux on Itanium 2 processors later this year, according to the company’s chief operating officer Kevin Rollins.

Speaking at Dell’s enterprise event in New York, Rollins said, “We plan this year to have an Itanium 2 product – we are big advocates of Linux today, as well as Microsoft, because it allows customer choice.”

Despite confirming Dell’s plans for Itanium-based Linux products, Rollins believed customer demand for 64-bit computing and its latest version, Itanium 2, was still modest. This has prompted the company’s decision to delay its entry into the market.

“Right now, customers are not begging for it, so we generally don’t try to go into a market until it is ripe and ready – we don’t pick it when it’s green,” he said.

Rollins also pointed to the strong performance offered by 32-bit computing. “You still have great performance from 32-bit and the performance is projected to continue.”

However, Dell still expected to win market share from companies that already have 64-bit offerings, such as Sun Microsystems.

Rollins said, “I think that it will have a continuous impact rather than a point event impact.”

Martin Hingley, vice president of the European systems group at analyst firm IDC, believed the global economic slowdown was one of the factors hindering the take-up of Itanium.

“We forecast Itanium as having a significant impact on the market –but people aren’t buying new technology at the moment,” he said. “I expect that Dell will position Itanium for high-performance computing clusters.”

The 64-bit technology model is regarded as being particularly effective at running database applications and the latest version, Itanium, uses a new method of processing to previous 64-bit RISC-based chips.

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