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Opteron is to Linux as EM64T is to Windows?

It may not be time to retire the term "Wintel" yet.

There have been recent rifts in the famous partnership between Windows and Intel that helped drive low-cost, x86 computing into the mainstream. But new research indicates that as the transition to x86-based 64-bit computing occurs, the two computing giants remain intertwined.

IDC's recent quarterly server report looks at the development of the x86-64 market, a trail blazed by AMD with its AMD64 architecture and Opteron and Athlon64 chips and followed by Intel with its Intel EM64T architecture.

"It is interesting to note the different markets these products are serving," IDC analyst John Humphreys said in a statement describing his findings.

"Opteron is largely selling into corporate, government and industrial market segments with a need for high performance systems -- hence over 60 percent of AMD's volumes are tied to Linux server deployments," Humphreys said.

"Conversely, the EM64T is shipping overwhelmingly with Windows and is being deployed largely in existing 32-bit environments," he said.

Overall, IDC found that the volume of x86-64 servers accelerated in the third quarter of 2004. Intel's inclusion of EM64T technology in shipping Xeon processors for the first time in the third quarter drove the technology into 60,000 units worldwide, according to IDC. At the same time, AMD Opteron volumes grew greater than 400 percent year over year, the research firm reported.

About the Author

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

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