End of the line for HP's Alpha | CNET News.com "Hewlett-Packard will release its final Alpha processor on Monday, the beginning of the end for a chip dynasty that never was.
Created by Digital Equipment and released in 1992, the Alpha often drew accolades from analysts and benchmark testers for its performance. The first Alpha ran at a record-breaking 200MHz. The 64-bit chip was engineered to run multiple operating systems--Unix in addition to Microsoft's Windows NT--and was expected to have a life span of 25 years.
Alpha was also the first chip to reach a clock speed of 1GHz under ordinary conditions, back in 1999.
Unfortunately for Digital, the chip--and servers based on it--won only a dedicated core of customers. It was expensive, and finding software applications to run on the Alpha was a constant struggle for its users. Because of low sales of Alpha systems, Microsoft stopped shipping a version of Windows NT for the chip architecture in 1999."