"I work for a major research organization. Of late a lot of the normal big computer companies have been visiting and preaching the gospel of Itanium. My question to them, and to the assembled masses here at Slashdot is what happens next when Itanium is real? My world view is that Itanium based systems will become commodity products very quickly after good silicon is available in reasonable volume. At that point, why should one spend $8-10k for that hardware from the likes of HP, Compaq, Dell and others when one can build it for $2k (or even less)? In other words, has Intel finally done in most of their customers by obliterating all the other CPU choices (except IBM Power4 [& friends G4, et al] and AMD Hammer) and turned the remainder of the marketplace into raw commodity goods? Lest you defend the other CPUs... Sparc is dead, Sun doesn't have the money (more than US$1B we'll guess) to do another round. PA-RISC is done, as HP has given away the architecture group. MIPS lacks funding (and perhaps even the idea people at this point). Alpha is gone too (also because of the heavy investment problem no doubt). Most other CPUs don't have an installed base that makes any difference, especially in the high end computing world. So what's next? I don't like the single track future that Intel has just because it is a single track!"