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Alpha NT could rise from the dead

Resurrection for MS Neptune to Cutler's taste

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Reports on an Internet mailing list have suggested that despite Compaq's decision to pull the plug on NT and Win64 for the Alpha chip last year, it could rise from its marchitectural ashes. The Big Q's up and coming Wildfire platform could be the first beneficiary of such a move. The editor of the Sysinternals mailing list, Mark Russinovich, has posted information in his latest newsletter that suggests Dave Cutler, poached by Microsoft from DEC to develop NT, was still working on the Alpha platform to develop Neptune, the successor to Win2k, at the end of last year. According to Russinovich, he met Cutler in November. He says in his newsletter: "In November the kernel team was already working hard on the successor to Win2k (known internally as NT 6, or Neptune). "Dave was working on touching-up the installation for the 64-bit version of Win2k....As of November the kernel team was still doing 64-bit work on Alphas because Intel had only recently begun to produce samples of Merced processors and there was only one on campus." Terry Shannon, ardent DEC and Compaq watcher, said that it is not beyond the realms of possibility that NT for the Alpha might rise, phoenix-like, from its ashes. After we passed on the information we had received to him, he said in the latest edition of his newsletter, Shannon knows Compaq: "Microsoft continues to rely on Alpha as a Win64 development platform, and it would not be beyond the realm of possibility for Microsoft and Compaq to revive the program if sufficient customer demand existed for a true enterprise-class Windows 2000 solution on Wildfire systems." ® * In other news from SKC, Shannon reports that Compaq has Itanium-Merced machines up and running in its labs and will be one of the first to ship such products later in the year. He also reports that Compaq is set to drastically prune its PC line. See also Is MS lobbying for more Merced Win64 help Compaq responds to Register Alpha NT stories

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