Microsoft have announced that the next versions of a number of their products will cease to support Itanium processors; making:
Windows Server 2008 R2
SQL Server 2008 R2
Visual Studio 2010
the last to support the Itanium architecture.
The reasoning behind this is that 64-bit processors & servers are now so hugely scalable that Itanium, as a solution for massive data-centers/high performance clusters etc, is simply no longer needed.
With both Intel & AMD releasing 6/8 core CPU’s and a servers with 8+ processors being offered by a dozen manufacturers, 64+ core boxes are available & close to becoming common. Windows Server can handle 256 logical CPU’s and so is perfectly placed to look after the datacenter.
Itanium users need not worry though, Windows Server 2008 R2 is fully supported until July 9th 2013, then going into extended support until July 10th 2018; so Microsoft aren’t abandoning anyone!
See the full post here: