Microsoft Kicks Itanium to the Curb

Goodbye Itanium - it's been nice knowing you, but we've grown apart, and quite frankly, I'm moving on to bigger and better things. Thanks for the memories. - Microsoft.

The Redmond software giant didn't quite put it that way, but did announce plans to stop supporting Intel's Itanium architecture. According to a Microsoft blog posting on Friday, Windows Server 2008 R2 will be the last version of Windows Server to support Itanium. SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010 will also be the end of the line for Itanium.

"Why the change? The natural evolution of the x86 64-bit (“x64”) architecture has led to the creation of processors and servers which deliver the scalability and reliability needed for today’s 'mission-critical' workloads," Microsoft wrote. "Just this week, both Intel and AMD have released new high core-count processors, and servers with 8 or more x64 processors have now been announced by a full dozen server manufacturers. Such servers contain 64 to 96 processor cores, with more on the horizon."

Current Itanium customers have nothing to worry about, however, as Microsoft reiterated that it will continue to support them for the next 8 years during the lengthy transition process.