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Pfeiffer positions Alpha against Merced

Alliance with MS will produce interoperability, Compaq claims

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A year ago From The Register a year back Compaq has kicked sand in the face of its partner Intel and will ship its high volume servers using the Alpha platform and Digital's 64-bit Unix. The company claims that will make the fast chip an industry standard, positioning it squarely against Intel's IA64 Merced platform. Eckhard Pfeiffer, CEO of Compaq, made the announcement during a conference call today and spelt out details of an alliance it has made with Microsoft to ensure interoperability between Unix and Windows NT. Pfeiffer said: "I've made a commitment to our customers that we'll continue to support Alpha. Compaq will use Alpha and Digital Unix in its volume platform and establish them as an industry standard. Industry standards lie behind two of the most important developments, which are NT and the Internet." Pfeiffer's comments were amplified by a senior vice president of the company, John Rose. He said: "Our strategy is to drive technology into standards. We have a rich history of driving industry standards." He said: "In 1992 Digital introduced 64-bit computing. The Alpha promises a five year headstart and is coupled with 64-bit Unix performance. Along with Intel, Samsung and AMD, Compaq will drive the Alpha as the industry standard for 64-bit computing." He said that Compaq would ensure customers had a high level of integration between the NT and Unix and was working with Microsoft to ensure interoperability between both. "Compaq is the leader in NT systems and our market share overall ranges between 40 to 70 per cent, including SAP, Baan, Peoplesoft and many others," he said. Compaq will invest in middleware to ensure NT and Unix worked together and will package both services and solutions. "We'll package services and solutions," he said. "Our customers can depend on the support of over 2,000 Microsoft certified network engineers and thousands of Unix specialists. This year, IDC projects that 72 per cent of enterprise appliances will be shrink wrapped. Active Answers is our next generation of enterprise solutions. The online library of tools will provide multivendors solutions." Intel reacted coolly to the news. A representative said: "Compaq is a very important customers and we work closely with them on the whole of its product line. We don't see this as a race against Alpha, we make Alpha processors and we give support to them through that." He added that Compaq was working closely with Intel on its IA-64 initiative. ®

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