Chris wrote in to say "In the latest Microprocessor Report, this is the following piece on the forthcoming Merced. They think that the Merced is running into design problems. Performance will likely be lower than earlier estimates, Intel are downplaying the performance behind the scenes, and are saying to wait for McKinley (2nd gen IA-64). In fact, if delayed enough, the Merced could well end up as being not much more than a development chip. So, the IA-64 might not be around until 2001, but by this time next year, we should have the PowerPC G4, AMD K7 and UltraSparc III in full flow, and Alpha 21264 looking even smuger than it does now... There's also another new article there - PC Processor Market Stratifies, which is partly about how AMD are the only x86 maker likely to threaten/shadow Intel in top performance over the next year or two."