Hitachi, NEC and Stratus Computer announced yesterday they have licensed Hewlett-Packard's version of the Unix operating system and will be ready to launch HP-UX systems when Intel releases its 64-bit Merced processor next year.
The agreement with Hitachi was reported by IDG two weeks ago when company officials confirmed the move and said the shift to HP-UX would be complete by the time Intel ships its IA-64 chip, codenamed Merced.
Because Intel has not announced a release date, representatives of HP, Hitachi, NEC and Stratus said they cannot say when they will release hardware to run on Merced, but that the launch of new machines will take place soon after Merced hits the market.
HP will ship the first board-upgradeable server platform for Merced, Bill Russell, HP vice president and general manager of the Enterprise Systems Group, said.
"A simple board swap will allow [customers] to upgrade to IA-64," he said.
HP has had partnerships with the other three companies involved in this announcement, which officials said is being viewed as a renewed commitment to HP and its operating system. For instance, Hitachi sells HI-UX, its Unix version based on HP-UX, in Japan.
The companies are also collaborating with HP on middleware for enterprise systems.
Fujitsu and Siemens are among major computer manufacturers also planning Unix-based Merced systems, but with HP competitor Sun Microsystems and its Solaris OS.