Fare thee well, Alpha, if Intel will allow it… I’m not holding my breath. The greatest CPU of all time, by a long shot, looks to be no more. Compaq pulled the plug on Alpha, essentially selling it out to Intel. Another case of far superior technology dying because its owner had no idea what to do with it.
But Intel, with its terminal case of NIH syndrome, isn’t about to let some other company’s technology thrive if history is any indicator.
One story in The Register likened replacing Alpha with Intel’s Itanium as replacing a Ferrari with a Yugo.
In my ill-fated Integrating Linux Servers with Windows Networks, I stated that we’ll miss NT on Alpha, and I presented Linux as a way to preserve a shop’s investment in Alpha-based servers. Indeed, an Alpha running Linux ought to be useful for many, many years, with or without Compaq’s blessing.
I guess I should be happy to see that IBM isn’t the only company that comes up with great ideas and great technology and then has no idea what to do with it. But I’m not. I hate seeing good engineering go to waste, especially when the beneficiaries of that waste are perpetual underachievers like Microsoft and Intel.