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Gartner analyst explains HP and Itanium leanings

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Letter re: HP calls in Gartner cheerleader for Opteron launch

We gave Gartner's John Enck a pretty hard time in a story yesterday, detailing HP's Opteron server launch. Enck showed up on an HP conference call, and this seemed a bit out of the ordinary to us. After a very pleasant e-mail exchange, Enck agreed to send along his take on HP's conference call and reasons for participating, and we thank him for that. Nice chap.

First, it is always difficult for analysts to talk the line when it comes to customers and vendors. I generally don't participate in vendor press announcements because of the appearance of bias. In this particular case, the Gartner and HP position were in alignment so I thought it was worth joining them.

I obviously was not clear on my remarks at one point. I meant to say that the IT world knew that 64-bit technology was inevitable when 32-bit processors came into being, but I did not mean to suggest that 64-bit extensions were inevitable or predictable. The point I was trying to make - and failed - is that we all know we are on a continued ramp up of faster and bigger (in terms of bitness) processors. That applies to Itanium just as much as 64-bit extensions.

I am by no means an Itanium cheerleader. However I simply do not believe that adding 64-bit addressing puts Xeon/Opteron on par with Itanium - there is more to a processor than the address space it can address. Does 64-bit address extension technology slow down Itanium penetration into the high-volume Windows market (1 and 2-way servers)? Of course it does. But does it knock Itanium completely out of the market? Of course it does not. Do you really think we'll be running 32-bit processors in new servers (with 64-bitextensions or not) in the post 2010 time frame? I don't.

- John

Enck also addressed what he looks like in a cheerleader outfit, but we have omitted that to save space. Again, he took the comment in good spirits. ®

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