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ZDNet: Alan Cox: If I had a Hammer...

Mar 06, 2002, 17:25 (21 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matthew Broersma)

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"The advent of affordable 64-bit computing could be the best thing to happen to Linux in a long time, opening up a new market potentially as important as the original PC market, according to Linux "kernel hacker" Alan Cox. He also criticised new guidelines suggested by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) covering the reporting of software security holes.

New processors emerging from AMD and Intel -- whose main focus has until now been desktop chips -- will allow many companies currently locked into expensive computer systems to switch to mainstream chips and open software like Linux, Cox said. The new Itanium line from Intel and the upcoming Hammer range from AMD offer similar performance to the RISC processors made by the likes of IBM and Sun Microsystems, but aim to achieve desktop-level prices.

"Large numbers of people will be able to dump a lot of expensive hardware," said Cox in an interview with ZDNet UK. "It will effectively extend the PC into a whole new market area. It could be as big as the 386." The 386 was an Intel processor introduced in the late 1980s, known to Linux developers as the first consumer processor powerful enough to run industrial-strength software like the Unix operating system."

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