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HP plans Itanium-Windows workstation

Hewlett-Packard, co-inventor of Intel's new Itanium chip line, will begin selling its zx2000 and zx6000 workstations with Microsoft's new Itanium version of Windows in mid-May.

Hewlett-Packard, co-inventor of Intel's new Itanium processor line, will begin selling its zx2000 and zx6000 workstations with Microsoft's new Itanium version of Windows in mid-May, the company said Tuesday.

The zx2000 comes with


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a single 900MHz Itanium 2 with 1.5MB of high-speed cache memory and costs between $3,711 and $5,832. The zx6000 comes with one or two processors, either the 900MHz model or a 1GHz Itanium 2 with 3MB of cache, and has a price range of $6,905 to $15,135.

Both systems will be available for order Thursday and will begin shipping in mid-May, company spokeswoman Jean Shimoguchi said. They use Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Version 2003, which Microsoft released to manufacturers March 28.

The arrival of Windows for Itanium is very important for HP, which will use the new 64-bit processor to unify server lines that today use five different processor architectures. Before Microsoft launched its new Itanium, products could run only Linux from Red Hat and SuSE, along with HP-UX, HP's version of Unix.

In one illustration of the importance of Windows, HP said last week it expects the sales rate of its top-end, 64-processor Superdome server to double or triple once the version that can use Windows goes on sale later this year.

HP worked with top Linux seller Red Hat to accelerate the release of an early version of its Advanced Workstation operating system, now called Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS.