An anonymous reader writes "The x86 chip architecture is still kicking, almost 30 years after it was first introduced. A News.com article looks into the reasons why we're not likely to see it phased out any time soon, and the history of a well-known instruction set architecture. 'Every time [there is a dramatic new requirement or change in the marketplace], whether it's the invention of the browser or low-cost network computers that were supposed to make PCs go away, the engineers behind x86 find a way to make it adapt to the situation. Is that a problem? Critics say x86 is saddled with the burden of supporting outdated features and software, and that improvements in energy efficiency and software development have been sacrificed to its legacy. And a comedian would say it all depends on what you think about disco.'"