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Merced Tru64 next on Compaq's death list?

Most definitely, we reckon. And not just because it quacks like a D-UX...

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Compaq's next move in the OS shootout will be to put a couple of rounds into the IA-64 version of Tru64, according to US reports (which we suspect of being spread around by our good friend Terry Shannon of Shannon Knows Compaq). Our take is that it's virtually certain to happen, and that it's just a matter of timing. Compaq has already terminated its twin track Intel-Alpha software development by stopping development of Alpha Windows 2000, and consequently ringing the curtain down on Microsoft operating systems on Alpha. That move was justified because of the relatively low level of sales of NT on Alpha - there was absolutely no way sales could, could ever, justify development costs. But turn it around the other way and it's not entirely clear that there's going to be much of a market for Tru64 on IA-64. Compaq is officially committed to doing it, but Compaq officials currently seem reluctant to reaffirm that commitment with any degree of enthusiasm. Add to that the fact that Compaq also supports Monterey, the SCO-IBM joint IA-64 project, and that it has Linux as a back-stop, and several things become pretty obvious. We're going to have more Unixes for IA-64 than we're actually going to need, and if Compaq persists with Tru64 for Merced it'll probably get squished, because most of the rival outfits have more development bucks than Compaq can spare. Plus, supporting Tru64, Monterey and Linux on Intel would mean that Compaq had more Unixes than it knows what to do with. So if it zaps one of them, it'll be putting over a less confused picture, and further differentiating between its Alpha and Intel offerings. And if its non-MS Intel offering turns into a Monterey-Linux double act, it's still backing two horses so has some insurance in the event of one of them screwing up. We suspect Compaq secretly hopes that the Trillian 64-bit Linux on Merced project will work, so it can dump Monterey again, and spite IBM. Mind you, as IBM itself announced support for Trillian last month, IBM may be on auto-spite here. ®

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