I would like to argue that the Itanium chip wasn't really a blunder on the part of Intel. The technical merits of it can certainly be called into question but it killed off the DEC Alpha, SGI's interest in MIPS technology, and the PA-RISC architecture of HP simply with marketing because everyone bought into the idea of EPIC being the future of high performance computing. They eliminated a large class of potential threats to their interests in the server and workstation market before shipping any silicon. That hardly seems like a blunder to me. The easiest way to make sure you win a race is to make sure anyone faster then you doesn't show up. Intel simply diverted attention away from other competition to make certain players who might pose a more immediate risk were out of the equation first. IMHO.