Linux.com: Linux and Merced: The Customer Wins

[ Thanks to Jeff Alami
for this link. ]

“The Linux kernel is being ported to the IA-64 architecture —
IA-64 being Intel’s new 64-bit architecture, which will first be
released in the form of the Merced processor. The Trillian project,
made up of companies including Cygnus, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel,
SGI, and VA Linux Systems, is making this porting possible. By the
time Merced ships, support for the IA-64 architecture will
undoubtedly be added to the kernel. Following that would be Linux
distributions suited for the IA-64 platform.”

“What does this all mean for Linux’s future? As Eric Raymond
noted in “The Re-Unification of Linux,” Linux is proving to be a
force for unification among the UNIX vendors. Remember that the
UNIX community is fragmented in two ways: the primary hardware
architecture and applications support. Most UNIX vendors are
supporting the IA-64 platform as the primary supported architecture
of their UNIX variant. Now all that’s needed is a common set of
libraries and binary formats among all of the IA-64 UNIX systems
and we have compatibility.”

“With UNIX vendors and Linux consolidating on the IA-64, we can
expect to see serious competition on the platform. As always, this
sort of competition primarily benefits customers, who will be able
to make a choice between operating systems. Linux and the UNIX
variants, all capable of loading the same applications, will be
available on practically every price range. Microsoft loses its
“monopoly factor” on the Intel platform, and the customer