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Compaq woos ISVs for 64-bit applications

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Further details of Compaq's plans to leverage 64-bit platforms have emerged, with the company pumping marketing money into an application porting strategy. It will start five porting centres across the world. Documents The Register has seen, show that Compaq is pursuing a dual strategy in order to protect its customer base in the future. Jeff Kenyon, manager of software and systems engineering at Compaq US, outlined the plans to ISVs recently. According to the documents, customers have a choice of going with Compaq Alpha NT and its Tru64 Unix, or investing in IA-64 after the release of Merced. Compaq is instead suggesting companies partner with it, claiming that Tru64 Unix on Alpha has the longest heritage of full 64-bit Unix. It says it has the greatest porting experience of the vendors, with over 13,000 applications and 3,000 ports. As part of its porting programme, Compaq is creating an application directory database and catalogue, providing porting assistance, SDKs, demonstration and developer discounts, and forging member communities. It will provide support during the port including startup support, walk-in porting centres, engineering guides, on-site assistance, and remote access to systems. After an application is ported, it will provide SDK updates, technical notes and whitepapers, technical seminars and remote problem diagnosis. Its engineering resource centres will be based in Palo Alto, Houston, Marlboro, Reading and Bangalore, the document we saw suggested, and back that up with Internet access and engineering resources. Compaq says that it will help software developers cross the chasm, otherwise they might find themselves in a tornado. ®

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