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Intel Introduces Try-and-Buy Program for Itanium 2

Intel this week kicked off a try-and-buy program to encourage Global 500 corporations to evaluate Itanium 2 systems against their current RISC processor-based systems.

Intel calls the effort the "Intel Itanium 2 Solution Challenge" and will run the promotion through the summer. The program involves a free trial period of up to 90 days for systems and services.

Intel has begun to enjoy real traction for its 64-bit Itanium processors after several years on the market. Unlike previous versions of Itanium, the third-generation "Madison" version is supported by dozens of hardware vendors and is fully supported by widely available and fully supported versions of Windows. In recent weeks, Intel has begun highlighting a number of customers running Itanium 2 systems (See story).

The challenge represents another way Intel is trying to leverage its new momentum for its 64-bit technology. "We are bullish on the Itanium 2 processor's performance and price advantage versus proprietary offerings," Lisa Graff, director of Intel's Itanium Group, said in a statement announcing the challenge program.

System partners in the program include HP, IBM, LangChao, Lenovo, NEC, Samsung, SGI, Unisys and regional system builders. Software partners include Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, SAS, BEA and i2. Participating system integrators include Unisys and Avanade, a joint venture of Microsoft and Accenture.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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