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HP hopes to trump Compaq on Unix, NT support

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Sources close to Hewlett Packard said today that it is likely to announce support on Merced for both HP/UX and Windows NT in the very near future. Today, HP is expected to announce good earnings for its third financial quarter. That could be viewed as a pre-emptive strike against Compaq, which will, tomorrow, announce that the Integrity XC system will produce a virtual SMP system. (Story: Compaq to go enterprise crazy tomorrow) HP is closer to Intel than Compaq, having cooperated with the chip giant on producing Merced in the first place. Since Compaq took over Digital, the company has pushed Alpha hard as the platform for Windows 2000, D/UX (now called Tru64), and, more recently, the Linux operating system. But the jury is still out on whether corporate bodies will adopt Linux in numbers, despite support from Intel, and latterly Trillian. HP has, so far, kept relatively quiet about the Linux OS. Said Terry Shannon, industry consultant and editor of newsletter Shannon knows Compaq: "I wonder if endianess will be an issue... Merced is little-endian, as is NT. HP/UX, at least currently, is big-endian. And note that HP currently does not support NT on PA-RISC." Compaq has always maintained it can square the Endian circle, with Tru64 and the Alpha platform. ®

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