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Print 47 comment(s) - last by gixser.. on Jul 12 at 8:23 PM

Windows 7's 64-bit adoption contrasts sharply with lackluster Windows Vista 64-bit adoption

With the rise of memory hungry applications like browsers with rich web content, DirectX 11/OpenGL video games, and an ever expanding wealth of business software, the time for 64-bit software is obviously now.  Some companies -- like Apple -- heeded the call early.  Others like Adobe (Flash), have yet to make a move on many flagship products.  But Microsoft may just convince those laggards to act, with the success of Windows 7 64-bit edition.

Early numbers from video game download service Valve indicated Windows 7 64-bit adoption to be quite high.  On Thursday, Microsoft blogger Brandon LeBlanc confirmed these numbers, reporting that as of June 2010 46 percent of Windows 7 installs were 64-bit.  This number is dramatically high, when compared to Windows Vista, which had only 11 percent 64-bit installs, or Windows XP, which had less than 1 percent 64-bit installs.

The biggest advantage of the leap to 64-bit is the increase in the amount of addressable memory.  32-bit systems can only address up to 4 GB.  With 64-bit Windows 7 up to 192 GB of memory is addressable.

One key factor to adoption was Microsoft's insistence that hardware partners make their devices compatible with the 64-bit version of Windows 7.  Writes LeBlanc:

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. 

Businesses are loving Windows 7 64-bit -- in fact Gartner predicts that by 2014 75 percent of business PCs will be running a 64-bit edition of Windows.  Intel, which opted out of the "Vista experience", recently completed a massive adoption [PDF] of 64-bit Windows 7 and has loved the results thus far.

Windows 7 is the fastest-selling operating system in world history.  Even as Windows 7 looks to pass Windows XP to become the 
best-selling operating system in history, Microsoft is reportedly hard at work on Windows 8, which may see a 2011 release.  The company is also preparing Windows 7 Service Pack 1 for public consumption.



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RE: How about...
By Flunk on 7/12/2010 9:02:30 AM , Rating: 2
Since 64bit Windows can also run 32bit programs a lot of your arguments are void.

What they really need is for every piece of computer hardware manufacturered for about 5 years to be 64bit compliant (including drivers). That way they can make the transition with leaving out the majority of user's hardware.


RE: How about...
By amanojaku on 7/12/2010 11:11:07 AM , Rating: 2
I wish it was that simple. Anyone who works in the corporate world would know that most systems (particularly user systems) are still 32-bit, with the majority of 64-bit systems being servers. The fact is the large organizations have a lot of applications to support, and out of 1000+ apps there might be that one that's incompatible with the 64-bit OS for some stupid reason, and not because of a piece of hardware. Yet, it's a core piece of the company's business process and can't be removed. So the end result is the organization stays with 32-bit until that application gets updated, which could be never. At that point the organization is required to stick with a 32-bit OS. Political battles will ensue as people try to get away from the legacy app, but in the years (yes, years) that battle is fought user systems need to be purchased or renewed, further entrenching the application.

If MS was only worried about gamers and web surfers we would have been 64-bit-only 3-5 years ago. But MS doesn't make money off of us, it makes it's money off lucrative corporate support contracts.


RE: How about...
By martinrichards23 on 7/12/2010 12:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
So which organisations are running software that can't be updated?

That would be a terrible position to be in for any reason, not just 64bit issue!


RE: How about...
By gixser on 7/12/2010 8:23:00 PM , Rating: 2
I suspect many organizations are running software that "cannot* be updated. Happens all the time, especially in my segment of the IT field - Law Firms...especially now.

In these past two years this has been my experience: Software companies going out of business - no updates. Budget slashed - no money to buy update or switch to new software. Even if there is money to purchase software, IT staff has been cut but project load is increasing. No IT resources left to implement or document changes let alone research alternative products or provide training. Yeah, pretty much sucks but I suspect we'll see a big increase in budget this year. If not, things are going to go pear shaped pretty dammed fast.

I work for a large, global law firm and that's my experience. I remember working at small law firms were I was the only "IT guy" and the phrase "IT budget" was complete jibberish. Needless to say, updates/upgrades were not planned unless it mean't certain disaster.

Maybe that's just law firms though....hopefully.


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