Intel alternatives

Joe Barrera (
Fri, 18 Apr 1997 15:43:04 -0700

Four years ago, it looked like Intel was going to get its butt kicked.
The PowerPC, Alpha, MIPS, and PA-RISC were all going to provide
massively better performance than Intel could ever get out of the x86
architecture. And Microsoft was going to help bury Intel, if not via the
ACE consortium (remember that?), then with Windows NT being available on
three of these four architectures. Developers would develop in C/C++ (no
longer in assembler) for Win32, compile for all architectures, and
distribute binaries for all platforms, using the new and limitless
storage capacity of CDs.

NT has since lost two of its three RISC platforms, and the third
evidently isn't doing so well. (NT on x86, of course, is doing great.)
And I don't see any new RISC replacements on the horizon. What the hell
happened? I know some of the answers - the Pentium Pro providing
surprisingly good performance, IBM deciding to sell OS/2 instead of
PowerPC chips - but it's still disappointing.

- Joe

Joseph S. Barrera III (
Phone, Redmond: (206) 936-3837; San Francisco: (415) 778-8227
Pager (100 char max): or (800) 864-8444

Technology & Telecommunications: Digital Profit Skids In Fiscal 3rd
Period As Alpha Sales Fall
By Jon G. Auerbach
Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal

Sales of Digital Equipment Corp.'s flagship Alpha processor skidded in
latest quarter, contributing to a 59% profit drop.

The lackluster demand raises new questions about Digital's reliance on
proprietary chip to restart its stalled recovery. Digital said Alpha
sales fell 13% in the fiscal third quarter, marking the first time sales
declined since Digital began marketing computers based on the
proprietary chip
four years ago.