March 1, 2005 3:23 PM PST

Microsoft says 64-bit Windows due in April

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SAN FRANCISCO--Microsoft said it plans next month to offer long-awaited 64-bit versions of its Windows operating system.

Speaking at the Intel Developer Forum, Windows chief Jim Allchin said the desktop version of the souped-up Windows would come at the beginning of April, while the server version would come at the end of the month.

"We're locked on to 64-bit," Allchin said, encouraging developers to start tailoring their applications to include the ability to take advantage of the extra processing power.

Last month, Microsoft released a second, near-final "release candidate" version of the operating system. The company had promised a final release would come by the end of June.

The 64-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 have been a long time coming, particularly for chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices, which has offered such chips for roughly two years in the server market and 18 months in the desktop PC market.


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So who cares? Maybe this is ShortHorn?????????
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
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Actually the only real advantage to 64-bit as far as I am concerned is that you will no longer be limited to 2GB of RAM per application. That would be nice especially with programs like Photoshop. But, I suspect that it won't really do much good until there is a 64-bit version of Photoshop which Adobe does not have planned at this time.

Posted by (336 comments )
Link Flag
Man battle stations!
*the whining start-up of a siren can be heard in the background*

*man in riot gear with full helmet and face shield steps up to the podium with a bullhorn*

*shouts through bullhorn*

Warning this is not a drill! Man battlestations we are at malware alert level orange! Exploits and crashes imminent! I repeat this is not a drill!

I want full combat readiness! All personel not prepared for this war should heard for the bunkers immediately!
Posted by Fray9 (547 comments )
Reply Link Flag
since microsoft includes IE with widnows, it whould be their responsibility for the spyware holes.
Posted by wazzledoozle (288 comments )
Link Flag
The only main problem I see for experienced users is the availability, or lack thereof, of hardware drivers. If major manufacter's hardware is supported upon release, then it's no big deal. Another plus would be 64-bit programs being released soon after release.

Windows isn't such a bad OS if an experienced user is at the helm. Now, if an amateur were to get his hands on Windows XP 64 (why he/she would in the first place, I dunno) then things could get a bit messy.

Now, I'm not a MS advocate or anything, but I know that it beats, hands down, any other OS (available for PC) in ease of use. I use Linux as well (several flavors) and I have to say that it's still got a far ways to go before being accepted as a mainstream desktop OS. Until that happens, I'll try to live with Windows. When it does happen, I'll be one of the first to jump the boat.
Posted by kashk5 (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Drivers will be tricky...
... for Windows. In the case of Linux, it was
ported to the 64-bit platforms before the CPUs
were commercially available in part because the
preponderance of drivers were open-source and
collected in a single place (and, for the most
part, needed no modification).

For Windows, however, you have a two-fold
problem: drivers are product model specific
(under Linux, typically hardware chipsets are
broadly supported, so a single driver supports a
swath of devices), and provided by the
manufacturer. It's the onus of the manufacturer
to create 64-bit drivers and provide them to MS
or with their products. This is not too
difficult, but will generally require more than a
simple recompile (if, nothing else, to create a
second package/installer and all those
configuration files and test them).

I'd also be interested to see what tangible
advantage it would have. Windows is particularly
popular on the desktop platform and is favored by
non-technical people with low-to-moderate
performance requirements. What they require more
is stable drivers for a wide array of popular
peripherals. 64-bit Windows is not going to do
anything for the secretarial pool of any company.

The only place where I can see an impact might be
in the server space... but here they are very
much the late-comer (nearly 3 years behind Linux)
and they are already feeling the heat. Perhaps
it's a move to keep-up with the Jones'. I'm not
sure, however, based on their current software
catalog, that 64-bit Windows will provide any
significant performance boost either (at least
not until they address upgrading their other
platform offerings).

So, I concur... *yawn*.
Posted by Gleeplewinky (289 comments )
Link Flag
A few questions
This story interest me because I have an Athlon64 that apparently has (as far as I know) unrealized potential. Would a 64-bit shift to Windows be in the form of a service update, ie - SP3, or would it be a standalone OS that people would have to buy? How would this affect game and application performance? I know that new games play great on my current processor, but older games run at double-speed.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Reply Link Flag
you'll need 64-bit apps for all potentials
Check for an in-depth review of the beta, which you can download for free from microsoft's website. In a nutshell, you'll need to get 64-bit versions of your favorite applications in order to double teh speed. I e-mailed Adobe about the 64-bit version of Photoshop.
Posted by (9 comments )
Link Flag
I will use Linux or Switch to Tiger
To get to 64 bit, I'll use Linux and switch over to Tiger when Apple releases it. I am so sick and tired of fighting viruses, malware, service packs, and the entire Windows experience, that I'm ready for a change, and 64-bit Windows isn't it.

BTW, someone commented on the lack of drivers for the 64-bit Windows, which is ironic. I will not be surprised to see viruses and other garbage optimized for Win 64 before we ever see drivers.

No thanks Microsoft, I'm done with you.
Posted by (274 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Great news!
This is GRRRRRRRRRREAT! Finally I'll be able to take full advantage of my Athlon 64 system. I'm a happy puppy today. Kudos to AMD and Microsoft and the CNET the messenger.
Posted by (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
get the beta for free
Check for an in-depth review of teh beta, which you can download for free from microsoft's website. In a nutshell, you'll need to get 64-bit versions of your favorite applications in order to double teh speed. I e-mailed Adobe about the 64-bit version of Photoshop.
Posted by (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Driver issues
Supposedly the 64-bit version will be able to run *most* 32-bit drivers fine, but not all. It'll be hit or miss, like the days when Win2k came out. People easily forget how much resoures MSFT had to devote to get all the drivers ready for XP, given the sheer number of hardware devices available for windows.
Posted by (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sir gates.........I love you man!!!
Whatever you here from these whiners will all be but a murmmer this time next year Mr. gates. Then when you back on top they'll find something eles to whine about...{it happens every new o.s....update...service pack....etc....}. The bottom line is you've got the best thing going and it'll be that way for a long time.
Posted by (1 comment )
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