I certainly never dreamed that Intel would step forward and admit that one of their technologies was not quite up to scratch, but it looks like that is what they have done. An Intel executive said yesterday that the company's high-end Itanium chip family still isn't what had been hoped for, and that its not living up to expectations.

Perhaps, in this case, Intel's goals were set too high, but the fact remains that even by their own admission, the Itanium hasn't become the dominant processor in the server market that Intel had hoped for. On that count, the Xeon processor, also by Intel, is doing much better. Set to compete with chips like Sun Microsystems' UltraSparc and IBM's Power, the Itanium just hasn't been taken up as greatly as Intel had expected.

"To try to boost sales, Intel is promoting pilot programs to let potential customers test Itanium servers in the hope that they'll then commit to the technology."