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Microsoft & Sun Cheer Opteron from the Sidelines

Microsoft & Sun Cheer Opteron from the Sidelines

(April 14, 2003) - In anticipation of the Opteron's appearance on April 22, Microsoft put out one of those wonderfully supportive press releases it's so good at telling us pretty much what we already knew - that it's developing "native 64-bit versions" of the Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 - extensions of the operating systems actually - for the Opteron and AMD's delayed desktop version of the chip, the Athlon 64.

Microsoft said - and this is the most interesting part though it's long since been guessed - that it'll have beta releases of both operating systems "in the middle of 2003," suggesting that our sources were right when they said they didn't expect Microsoft to go GA with the code until at least Q4. The timetable gives Linux a lead on the architecture.

Naturally Microsoft expressed delight that the part will run 32-bit apps, only to be expected since there's very few x86-64 programs at this point and Itanium is a bummer running 32-bit code. In Q4, Microsoft said, it delivered a developer release of the x86-64 extensions with application development tools for the AMD 64-bit hardware.

Sun was also making noises about using the Opteron in servers at some point at its newfangled quarterly product release the other day.

When that magic moment might arrive or if it'll buy an Opteron box rather than design one was left up in the air. Sun mumbled something about upgrading its Intel-based LX50 Linux box. Whether there's any connection between the two factoids also remains to be seen, although it seems dubious.

Evidently Sun's been testing both the Opteron part and market interest. One might suspect that Sun's motivated by the thought of deflating Intel's Itanium tires. It's also got resurrected Solaris x86 interests to consider and, in fact, it says it's stepping up negotiations to find PC makers to resell some kind of Solaris-based x86 server.

Otherwise Opteron has yet to be officially endorsed or adopted by any brand name.

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More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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