"Far across the distance
and spaces between us
You have come to show you go on."
-- From "My Heart Will Go On" by Will Jennings, as made famous by Celine Dion
According to market research firm IDC, only around 5% of Intel's Itanium chips end up running Windows software, making it one area where Linux beats Microsoft with a 29% market share. Even at that, Linux specialist Red Hat
Intel's Xeon chips and AMD's Opterons are now massive beasts that can stand up to workloads that used to require specialized processors. Microsoft, Red Hat, and others will continue to support their Itanium customers for a few years, but won't be looking to add any new accounts. Xeons will flow into the vacuum left behind by the departing Itanium sales, while AMD might be able to snag a few sales where the company never had any Itanium-compatible products to offer.
As this troubled product line fades to black, HP might want to take the Itanium off Intel's hands and then outsource manufacturing back to Intel or perhaps, if they can support production, a third-party foundry like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing
In my eyes, the end of Itanium support for Windows is a nonevent for Intel and Microsoft but a potential opportunity for AMD to steal some Intel business and for HP to take control over a favored component.
What do you think, dear Fool? Let your voice be heard in the comments below.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in TSM, AMD, and a number of other fine acronyms, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here -- though his interest in April being the National Poetry Month is undeniable. Intel and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. The Fool has created a covered strangle position on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended a buy calls position on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.