The Inquirer: FOR THE FIRST TIME I am worried about Itanium and its very survival. This is not a direct concern, but follows a long series of circumstances capped by a single event. It all makes me seriously question Intel's will to back the architecture.
First a little history, involving the chip, its two major proponents, and Intel's retail arm, Dell. There are only a few companies selling Itanium machines: HP, SGI, and some others, but they are largely irrelevant to this argument. By marketshare, income, or just the sheer coolness of the boxes, there are just those two, and 'others'. HP has the most to lose because it knifed two architectures - the Alpha and PA-RISC to jump into the IPF waters. SGI did the same with MIPS, but didn't shoulder the architectural development to the same degree as HP. Dell just kind of looks at its feet and nervously whistles when you mention IPF.
IPF was the official Intel 64-bit plan, there was no iAMD64 in the works, really, just ask them: the future is Itanium. Then came AMD, and from what I understand, Intel was caught with its pants around its proverbial ankles. The iAMD64 chips were given serious consideration, but there were good arguments for and against them.