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Gateway opts for MIPS-Linux for Web server offering

Old Wintel loyalist strikes deal with Cobalt Networks

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Long-standing (if often somewhat reluctant) Wintel loyalist Gateway has announced what appears to be a shock defection to Linux and MIPS. The company has signed an with Cobalt Networks whereby Cobalt will supply it with "server technologies" for a new range of Gateway server appliances. Cobalt produces a MIPS-based range of cheap server appliances that are used for small and medium businesses, and also for Internet and Web hosting purposes. They're quite popular with service providers as part of a managed server service, as they're cheap, compact and fairly easy to service, and although they haven't been adequate for heavy-duty Web hosting, Cobalt announced clustering support last month. The "server technologies" Cobalt will be supplying to Gateway seem to be rather more of a badging exercise than the expression would tend to imply. According to Gateway senior VP Van Andrews the aim is to combine "the strength of Cobalt's server appliance technology with Gateway's growing Internet services." So Gateway intends to take the Cobalt product line and push it as "simple, reliable and affordable computing solutions to our business, education and government customers." This of course is by no means the first time Gateway has attempted to break loose of the Wintel straightjacket - it just hasn't been very good at it so far. As Gateway evidence in the Microsoft antitrust action showed, the company at one point put Microsoft's nose out of joint by attempting to develop its own UI for Windows. Then of course it there was the purchase of Amiga, which showed both a wish to break free and an apparent inability to do so. And just last month Gateway capped its refusal to use Athlon by saying it would phase out use of AMS K6-2s and K6-IIIs. Chipzilla, which has its own server appliance roadmap, is unlikely to be chuffed by Gateway playing footsie with MIPS - so will it be different, this time around? ®

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