Compaq Computer Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co, IBM Corp and Adaptec Inc kick off a two-day developer forum in Monterey, California today in a bid to rally support for their new, I/O server architecture, Future I/O, announced last month (CI No 3,575) and due to be launched in 2001. The group will meet with representatives from around 170 companies, a spokesperson said, to discuss the merits of the architecture and present details of the specification in a series of technical workshops. Future I/O was announced in January as a rival to Intel Corp’s own I/O specification NGIO (Next Generation Input/Output). At the time, officials from the four companies said the aim of Future I/O was to create a pervasive and open standard that will enable vendors to be able to differentiate their hardware products for the first time and not be tied exclusively to the Wintel platform. That’s in contrast to Intel’s proposed architecture, which IBM and its partners believe is designed to suppress innovation and keep manufacturers locked in. A spokesperson for Compaq said yesterday that the group would issue a press release next week, after the forum, to announce which companies have added their support to Future I/O. Intel already has Sun, NEC, Dell on board but IBM and Co hope to encourage them, and others, over to their camp too. A spokesperson from Intel also confirmed yesterday that the chip giant would be sending technicians and developers to this week’s forum. More news in expected later in the week.