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The installed base of 64-bit (x64) Windows 7 has reached 46%
in June 2010, vs. 54% for 32-bit (x86) Windows 7, according to statistics released by Microsoft. It is clear from the data shared by the Redmond company that end users are starting to choose x64 systems and equivalent Windows 7 editions over older x86 architectures. The software giant underlines that this is an increasing trend, and that it expects 64-bit Windows 7 to become the norm, and 32-bit Windows 7 the exception. Of course, the question now is, what will the future hold for Windows 8?
Microsoft does have a few options. It could of course continue to serve both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 8
, just as it did with Windows 7 and Windows Vista. Or it could drop the x86 flavors of Windows 8 altogether, and produce only x64 Windows 8 SKUs. This would certainly be a bold move for the software giant, but Microsoft is sure not to come to a conclusion in this regard without carefully considering the overall impact.
In June 2010, just 1% of all Windows XP machines were running a 64-bit copy of the OS, and just 11% of Vista computers had the x64 version installed. The vast majority of XP users, 99% are still running 32-bit systems, and the same is valid for 89% of Vista customers.
Only now, a little over eight months since the advent of Window 7, does 64-bit computing appear to be on the brink of becoming ubiquitous, and making 32-bit architectures a thing of the past. x64 processors have been available for a while now, but only 64-bit Windows 7 seems to have gained sufficient traction, in concert with new OEM computers shipped worldwide, to push x86 processors onto their shelve in history.
There already is a precedent. In 2009, Microsoft offered the first x64-only Windows operating system. With the introduction of Windows Server 2008 R2 (Windows 7 Server), the software giant dumped support for x86 processors completely. Could a similar move be considered for Windows 8?
End users are certainly behind the x64 adoption wave. 64-bit platforms and modern CPUs pave the way for parallel processing, mean more RAM (up to 192 GB for Windows 7), better security etc. But it seems that the entire world is slowly arriving to a consensus, as far as 64-bit is concerned. There are factors outside of Redmond to take into consideration
“OEMs today have fully embraced 64-bit. We have seen many OEMs convert entire consumer lines of PCs to 64-bit only – which can be seen quite a bit today in North America. According to Stephen Baker at NPD, 77% of PCs sold at retail in April 2010 in the U.S. had a 64-bit edition of Windows 7 pre-installed. And businesses are adopting Windows 7 64-bit as well. According to Gartner, by 2014 75% of all business PCs will be running a 64-bit edition of Windows. Intel recently migrated to 64-bit Windows 7,” revealed Brandon LeBlanc
, Windows Communications Manager on the Windows Client Communications Team.
“As I mentioned previously, there are more compatible hardware and software for PCs today thanks to the amazing work from our partners (ISVs and IHVs) making their products compatible with 64-bit. Through the Windows Logo Program (the “Compatible with Windows 7” logo today), hardware partners are required to develop 64-bit drivers for their devices and software partners are required to have their applications compatible with 64-bit Windows 7. This groundwork was laid with the Windows Logo Program for Windows Vista and carries through to today with Windows 7,” revealed Brandon LeBlanc, Windows Communications Manager on the Windows Client Communications Team,” LeBlanc added.
Of course it is still too early to ask Microsoft in which direction it will go with Windows 8
. And too early for the company to start sharing its plans with the public. The unconfirmed schedule for the delivery of Windows 8 indicates that Windows 7’s successor will be offered in mid-2012. In this context, by the summer of 2011, when the first Beta of Windows 8 should drop, we can also expect the company to reveal whether its next Windows client will be x64-only or not.
There are aspects independent from Microsoft that will undoubtedly influence this decision. If the adoption of x64 PCs and Windows 7 continues at the same rate, then a x86 flavor of Windows 8 will be less likely. But if a high uptake rate works in concert with original equipment manufacturers also dumping 32-bit, and with the ecosystem of hardware and software solutions around Windows shifting the focus to 64-bit entirely, then a 32-bit Windows 8 would simply no longer make sense. It’s worth noting although that just 2 years ahead of the reported delivery date for Windows 8, Adobe still has to produce a 64-bit version of Flash, although the plug-in is ubiquitous, and x64 Internet Explorer has been available for quite some time. And Adobe are by no means not alone. What do you think? Should Microsoft make Windows 8 exclusively 64-bit, and continue selling 32-bit Windows 7? Or should the company deliver both x86 and x64 flavors of Windows 8, per the Windows 7 and Windows Vista model?
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|Comment #1 by: Joshua on 09 Jul 2010, 17:38 UTC|| reply to this comment|
They should move exclusively to 64 bit. It's about darn time.
|Comment #1.1 by: rick on 16 Mar 2012, 13:55 GMT|
It depends, if portable devices that use Windows 8 are still in the 32-bit world, then it doesn't make sense to go 64-bit only.
|Comment #2 by: Misaki2010 on 09 Jul 2010, 18:11 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Microsoft should definitely stick with 32 bit too :| if not they will loose a quite a lot o Windows users!
|Comment #3 by: TBH on 09 Jul 2010, 18:47 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Well, though there have been demand on 64 bits, 32 bits should not be neglected. If all software developers turn their development to 64-bit support, then there is no problem to make Windows 8 exclusively 64.bit. But in the atmosphere of the current software industry, we cannot depend on 64-bit OS solely.
|Comment #3.1 by: JobroJackson on 25 Apr 2011, 00:39 GMT|
You can run 32-bit applications on 64-bit Windows, just as you could run 16-bit applications on 32-bit Windows. The only software that would be phased out if Windows switched fully to 64-bit would be 16-bit software from 1995. There is really not much loss.
|Comment #4 by: Bakr on 09 Jul 2010, 21:28 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Well I think that Microsoft should continue making both 64Bit and 32Bit for Windows 8
|Comment #6 by: Bobby on 10 Jul 2010, 07:23 UTC|| reply to this comment|
MS should curb the 32-Bit Windows 'bit-by-bit' but should consider killing it only post 2014 once XP gets the coffin treatment.
|Comment #7 by: Vic on 10 Jul 2010, 12:30 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Windows 8 exclusively on 64-bit it is a great idea.
|Comment #9 by: Kyle on 10 Jul 2010, 17:59 UTC|| reply to this comment|
This is a 32-bit XP (!) install, if this proves my point.
|Comment #10 by: adacosta on 10 Jul 2010, 23:53 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Its a possibility that Microsoft could make the next version available in both 32 and 64 bit, but limiting 32 bit availability only to OEM's and to form factors such as Netbooks. This means retail boxed upgrades will only be available in 32 bit only. With the majority of Netbooks still shipping with 1 GB of RAM, 32 bit will continue to make sense, especially since there is a large user base of Netbooks.
The memory modules in most of these Netbooks are soldered on making upgrades impossible. Of course these users might want to upgrade the OS in the future, but not necessarily need a 64 bit OS since they don't have 4 GBs of RAM and don't want to do a clean install. I have ran 64 bit Windows on 1 GB of RAM but its not desirable even for casual usage.
Also, the next version could be a by request only for 32 bit. So if you purchase a computer with 64 bit Windows, you can request a replacement disk for 32 bit, but by default, all machines are shipped with 64 bit Windows. Support right now for 64 bit Windows is very strong, if you check the Microsoft Answers forum, you will see a lot of users asking for guidance about how to move from 32 to 64 bit Windows 7. If your computer comes with 4 GB of RAM standard which I suspect the majority of notebook and desktops will be in the next year, might as well leave it and run whatever legacy app through XP Mode or Virtual PC 2007.
Another sign of Microsoft phasing out 32 bit support, Windows Easy Transfer supports migrating data from 32 bit Windows to 64 bit Windows, but not vice versa.
|Comment #11 by: Amit Ranjan on 12 Jul 2010, 06:40 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I think , Microsoft Should stick with 32-bit version majority still is sticked with 32-bit including both user and developer. So if dont want to loose that MAJORITY then he should keep on developing 32 bit applications, until 64- architecture captures the max percent of market. Since this is just beginning of 64-bit machines so atleast 5-10 more years MS needs to build 32-bits application. But must keep support for 32-bit apps too.
|Comment #12 by: Loubert on 13 Jul 2010, 02:49 UTC|| reply to this comment|
People need to stop being laggards and move to a 64bit OS already..Windows 7 should have been 64bit only. 32bit is so unnecessary anymore unless you're rockin an Intel P3 cpu, in which case you need a new computer altogether. If Windows 7 were 64 bit only then many software companies would have had to follow suit and offer 64bit applications, Microsoft has a vast majority in the OS world and it would only be smart to make 64bit apps..especially you Adobe..cough*flash*cough..
I don't understand why Microsoft doesn't realize that they control the stakes here..you think people are gonna stay with XP 32bit (doubtful) or even Vista 32bit (even more doubtful) or move to another OS like Apple's or a Linux (highly doubtful) especially if the people's reasons not to switch to a 64bit OS is because of software compatibility. Plus don't forget that 64bit OS's allow 32bit applications. So I see no reason not to go 64bit only.
Change is good people! I'd like to have 128bit OS's before 2020 so people get a move on!
|Comment #13 by: gspeed316 on 04 Aug 2010, 21:29 UTC|| reply to this comment|
As an IT professional I bought a new laptop this spring specifically with Windows 7 x-64, so I could see how it performed. Is it another dud like Vista or did MS pull it together? Before I could give it a good evaluation my office bought 12 computer, with out a good eval, I played it safe and bought 32-bit systems. I REALLY wished I hadn't. Now that I have had it for a while, I love my laptop, wouldn't go back to XP or 32 bit unless I had no other choice. On my laptop I run all kinds of games, programs, 2 IDE, SQL express, SQL CE, and of all the programs application and software I run only one has ever given me ANY problems, Yahoo Messenger. I downgraded that to Messenger 9, and now even that runs good.
Just as computers moved from 16 to 32 bits (Windows 95, I beleive), we are overdue to migrate to 64 bit. I'd say make Windows 8 64 bit only, and perhaps try making Windows 9 and/or 10 (whenever they get to that point) 64 or 128 bit. Personally I can't wait to see what they can do with a 128 bit system, but I don't think the average user (or the programmers) are ready for that much that fast.
|Comment #14 by: JULIEN on 19 Nov 2010, 13:02 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Microsoft should still deliver 32-bit Windows 8 because 32-bit CPUs did not die yet. Starting from Pentium 4 1.7GHz and above, all those processors run Windows 7 very nicely.
Once P4 3.0GHz stops handling the load, then they should move to 64-bit exclusively.
I think that should be for Windows 9.
|Comment #15 by: Daveb on 28 Jan 2011, 11:58 UTC|| reply to this comment|
32bit needs to be faised out, as we move to a standard 64bit. Then eventually start moving to 128 bit.
|Comment #15.1 by: Coyote on 13 Feb 2011, 18:23 GMT|
People don't want 128bits, even you don't know what is 128bits in a processor, thats huge! Considering that the laptop market is higher than the desktop market, and even if it wasn't there would be no desktop motherboard relatively cheap, that would allow so many memory. That's nuts! Don't even say something like that...
|Comment #16 by: Coyote on 13 Feb 2011, 18:19 UTC|| reply to this comment|
As a developer I would say to keep with the 32bits... Even as a user I would say to keep with the 32bits, or to find another way of managing 32 and 64 bit applications, it's a lot of trouble to have to install both versions (when they're available), just to use an plugin or something that is 32bits. And I really understand why there are so many apps that are 32bits, as it is a colossal task to port a large codebase to another architecture (and this is just like that), even with the fact that many software houses, don't have the resources for that, and are also dependent of other libraries or tools that are 32bit only too. So MS still has to think on they developers, since an platform without developers is a dead platform, and no one wants to produce an dead platform. Also MS has already done that many times to others (IBM OS/2 comes to mind), and wouldn't want to suffer the same destiny.
|Comment #17 by: stewdanko on 02 Mar 2011, 14:11 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Most software, right now, is targeted to 32 bit. Since most businesses will migrate to Windows 7 32 bit only from XP 32 bit, a move to a mandatory 64 bit for a Windows 8 would only hamper sales of Windows 8 to business.
Windows Server R2 demands 64 bit only to eliminate limitations on RAM and Mass storage limitations. Look for Microsoft to continue using 32 bit for desktop client systems.
|Comment #18 by: technomancer on 19 Jun 2011, 21:30 UTC|| reply to this comment|
first xp is not old. some updates yes, but still fully functional. now in 8 years, maybe release os 8. i think they should go way back to the drawing board now, start with 32 bit and add 64 bit in so it is one os. otherwise unlock (rip out code locking out more that 3.5 gig) 32 bit up for 16 gig of memory. the hardware industry NEEDS to slow down! release cycles need to allow for software growth not hardware growth. make it right the first time! software needs to be written with finesse not brute force!
|Comment #20 by: Diamonds 2000 on 30 Oct 2011, 07:30 UTC|| reply to this comment|
The company should deliver both x86 and x64 flavors of Windows 8
|Comment #21 by: Cathy Payne on 22 Jan 2012, 00:33 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I think they should can it hardware that cannot use 64bit at all is to old for us to keep developing for it. Windows 7+ programs would suffer on P4 systems.
|Comment #22 by: Jewett on 28 Jan 2012, 14:24 UTC|| reply to this comment|
the average PC usre has no idea what the difference is bewtween 32bit and 64bit. i fact if someone goes to the store and purchase a PC the chances are it is preinstalled 64bit. The option to change it is not available. how ever advance users prefer 32 bit OS systems so we can run older software programs, or maybe game emulators ect...
in conclusion. the option to have 32bit or 64bit on our PC's are purely in our hands at this point. you have 32.. in most cases you gotta remove the os and reinstall.
|Comment #23 by: Hi on 08 Mar 2012, 01:38 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I dont care if windows 8 would be 64 bit only.
AS LONG as they make it possible that 32 bit applications/software (not their hardware) still works on windows 8.
Without being a nerd to start them.
For hardware i dont care. As long as my games and applications im using working!
|Comment #24 by: Christian on 03 Apr 2012, 13:10 UTC|| reply to this comment|
they should make win8 for 32 and 64 bit.!
|Comment #25 by: jpfeifer on 06 Jun 2012, 20:42 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Microsoft should only switch to all 64-bit ONLY after a perfect x86 Windows emulator, designed specifically to prevent 16-bit Windows applications, as well as 32-bit applications with 16-bit installers - games in particular - from ever being put out to pasture, emerges. As most of us know, we already have such a solution for running DOS applications, in the form of DOSBox. Otherwise, the 32-bit architecture must stick around in some way - either through a dual boot process (having both 32-bit AND 64-bit Windows available on the same machine, only running OS one at a time), or by using virtual machines with 32-bit guests. This is all because I feel that Microsoft made the most horrible mistake I can remember them making, by removing the 16-bit compatibility layer from 64-bit Windows. In fact, a 32-bit version of Windows 8 should be fully capable of running any x86 Windows application from as far back as the beginnings of Windows. Windows 95/98/Me programs not compatible with the Windows NT kernal may still need to utilize the 'Compatibility Mode' feature, in place since Windows XP, in order to run properly. 16-bit Windows applications should NEVER be phased out and must be kept alive forever. Period.
|Comment #26 by: Mamoun on 11 Sep 2012, 09:56 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Windows 8 should come in 64 bit version only
|Comment #27 by: Deezul on 02 Oct 2012, 20:55 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I think 64 bit only will create more consistency with apps and system management going forward.
|Comment #28 by: thomas_w_bowman on 22 Oct 2012, 17:37 UTC|| reply to this comment|
64 bit OS can be capable of running 32 bit software, and some software is not (yet) available in 64 bit versions. Of course emulation comes with added overhead - but it's thoughtless to assume that customers want to re-purchase (or are even able to) software that only was written for 32 bit. I have some expensive specialized Quilting CAD Design software that concerns me...
|Comment #29 by: sonofphoenix on 06 Dec 2012, 04:52 UTC|| reply to this comment|
THEY SHOULD MAKE BOTH 32 AND 64... there are still small businesses that uses 32-bit application...and even DOS based applications...so what if the programs are in 1990's, as long as it still serve its purpose... they keep on upgrading their produsts that affects small businesses...what's the purpose of upgrades?.. to make Microsoft even richer?... is the upgrade really the solution?...why don't they make upgrades that do not greatly affect the previous versions...why, because they want to keep on selling their products to become richer...
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