Monterey is claiming a victory today as the first commercial Unix operating system to work on Intel's IA-64 chip.
IBM, SCO and Sequent announced that the operating system, a hybrid development of the three companies' Unix, successfully booted on Intel's Merced chip - without using a software emulator - earlier this week at an Intel laboratory in Dupont, Washington.
The Monterey members, which include IBM, Intel, Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) and Compaq, can jeer at rivals HP and Sun who have also been desperate to be first.
Rajiv Samant, general manager of the Unix brand at IBM, said: "Getting Monterey/64 up and running on Intel hardware in such a short time is an extraordinary achievement. With this milestone we have overtaken Sun, HP and many others in the industry."
Two weeks earlier, Sun trumpeted that it had a version of the Solaris operating system running on Merced, but used a software emulator in order to boot the system.
Samant dismissed this out of hand as, "having no significance at all," and added that, "The fact HP is not ready with their Unix [on Merced] speaks loudly."
Mike Orr, senior vice president worldwide marketing SCO, said: "Getting Monterey up and running on real silicon enables us to get to the next level of engagement with or common ISVs and OEMs."
He added: "We will see an acceleration in 64bit hardware design and development, and more ISVs actively porting to Unixware 7 on IA-32 platforms and AIX on power platforms as they prepare themselves for the release of Monterey/64."
IDC analyst Kirsten Ludvigsen said: "Monterey, HP, Sun and the Linux guys have all been hell-bent on doing this. IBM has put a lot of muscle into being number one. It's all about prestige."
She added: "It could give them a small window of opportunity to sell their stuff, but the others are close behind."
Samant said the practical benefit of having Monterey running on Merced already was that ISVs could get their hands on the OS faster and get applications ready for customers that much sooner. An alpha release for Monterey will be out in the next two to three months, he said.
Intel has slated the second half of next year for shipment of IA-64.
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