Compaq Dumping 32-way Unisys Servers



Compaq says it will stop selling its 32-chip server, which is based on Unisys Corp. hardware, after May 31. Instead, it will focus on selling its eight-way ProLiant servers, which, like the 32-CPU ProLiant ML770, runs the Windows 2000 Datacenter Server. Although the company says there were few bites for the bigger machine, it is building its own 32-processor architecture.

This is a blow for Microsoft, which has been trying to boost sales of Datacenter, its answer to Unix systems. "It's certainly a disappointment," says Bob O'Brien, a Microsoft product manager for Windows. Compaq is one of seven hardware vendors that sells Datacenter on 32-CPU systems.

Compaq says 95% of its Windows 2000 Datacenter Server sales were eight-chip servers. The rest were for 32-way machines. "The 32-way is quite expensive for us to carry," says Tim Golden, director of enterprise server marketing at Compaq. The company bought hundreds of the Unisys servers for testing, says Golden, but customers were uninterested.

Giga Information Group analyst Rob Enderle thinks the deal between Compaq and Unisys was a stopgap maneuver for Compaq all along. "This is nothing wonderful for Unisys," says Enderle. "But eventually it will be more comforting for Windows server customers buying systems built and serviced by Compaq instead of systems built by Unisys and serviced by Compaq."

Separately, Microsoft said Monday it will call the next version of it Windows server operating system "Windows 2002." The software had been code-named Whistler.

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