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Smoky mirrors hide transparent Intel intent

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RISC chip manufacturer Sun has hit back at Intel for its statements about the future of Solaris on the IA-64 platform. At the Intel Developer Forum held in a desert location a fortnight back, a whispering campaign from Chipzilla spin doctors led to an unseemly row where Sun was cast as the villain because it was not putting any muscle into porting applications for the Itanium big boxes. But, behind the scenes, The Register was given to understand that there was a little jealousy at Sun continuing to win big contracts in the US, with its UltraSparc platform, at the expense of other Itanium partners, including HP and Compaq. Now Sun has gone public on its views on the spat, with a public relations representative in the US wing of the firm denying Intel's rationale for the campaign. The representative said: "What is Intel going to do for those customers that have expressed a desire to use Solaris to bring IA-64 to market? "Intel's claims about lack of support from Sun are a smokescreen the industry should see through. Solaris 8 is ready for Itanium, we're going to give it and the source away for free. Those are moves designed to help the Intel environment most." The representative added: "By the way, 80 per cent of those [customers] who've responded to date (and we're talking thousands here) have asked for Intel versions." Intel's IA-64 architecture manager, Steve Smith, and senior Intel VP Paul Otellini, both suggested that Sun's heart was not in the platform, with the latter suggesting that other RISC vendors, such as HP and IBM, had already crossed the Rubicon river. As we suggested at the time, it is unclear whether Compaq, with its Alpha microprocessor and its Wildfire platform, is on the right side of the Rubicon or the wrong side. ® See also Solaris for Itanium looking dead flakey Risc vendors have Rubicon to cross Itanium: the beat goes on Intel Developer Forum Q1 2000

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