The Register: The Itanium market is not for the faint of heart. One quarter you can be king of the world only to find yourself at the bottom of the heap three months later. Case in point. Dell sold 14 Itanium servers versus 0 from IBM in Q1. In the second quarter, IBM was the one selling 13 systems versus Dell's 0. You win some, you lose some.
Those numbers are accurate. It's not 13,000 or 13 million or even 130 Itanium systems sold — it's 13. Yikes! AMD, while off to just about as slow a start as Intel in the 64-bit processor race, appears to have a better plan with their Opteron processor. They're beating Intel at its own game. By providing solid 32-bit compatibility, AMD allows companies to purchase 64-bit chips now that may only run 32-bit apps or just a handful of 64-bit apps. Intel was always the company that tended to make the slightly less inferior CPU but got the biggest piece of the market share pie. Now it appears that Intel is trying to make Itanium the superior processor at the price of backwards compatibility. AMD may very well have the inferior CPU this time around and they may also be the ones at the top of the desktop and server mountain within five to seven years from now.