Intel and Microsoft promote Wintel for workstations
Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. teamed up Wednesday to promote the Wintel platform for workstations.
Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and chief executive, and Craig Barrett, Intel president and chief executive, espoused the benefits of Wintel over Unix to kick off the companies' two-day Workstation Leadership Forum, held here.
Systems using Intel chips and Windows NT are taking hold in the workstation market while the old, established RISC-based architectures are losing their grip, Barrett said. Price/performance is a primary force driving the growth, he said.
The event featured demonstrations by companies including Xerox Corp. that are switching to the Wintel workstation platform.
Barrett and Gates both looked ahead to a 64-bit computing environment for future growth in the workstation arena. Barrett said Merced, the first chip in Intel's 64-bit architecture, is in the final stages of completion with samples due in "the next two months or so." The chip is due in mid-2000, and Gates said Microsoft will be ready with a 64-bit version of Windows.
Acknowledging that Windows must co-exist with Unix, Gates announced the second version of Windows Services for Unix. A beta version of the product will ship within the next couple weeks, he said.
Gates said Windows 2000 will ship later this year and provide advanced capabilities that will enhance the workstation environment, including easier deployment and improved reliability.
The Wintel alliance did not entirely hold up through the entire event, though. During a question and answer session, Gates and Barrett were asked about what role they see the open-source Linux operating system playing in the workstation arena.
Gates said not many users are switching over to Linux in the workstation market. But he added, "In some ways, you're asking the most biased person you could ask."
Barrett quipped that he did not share the same bias. While the Wintel platform has the greatest numbers behind it, Intel will provide support for Linux as well, he said.