As we know, the successor to Windows 7 may already be in development. What we didn’t know is that Microsoft may be considering making a 128-bit version of the OS. It was suspected that Windows 7 would be the last version of Windows to ship a 32-bit version, but will there still be two different versions, 64 and 128-bit?
The clues came from a LinkedIn profile for one, Robert Morgan, a senior developer at Microsoft. In his profile, Morgan stated he was working on, “projects including 128bit architecture compatibility with the Windows 8 kernel and Windows 9 project plan.” There’s certainly no confirmation that Windows 8 will have 128-bit support, but Microsoft could be on the way to that technology. If not Windows 8, then maybe Windows 9.
This is all still very early speculation. We most likely won’t even see Windows 8 until at least 2011, but more likely 2012. We may see more clues in updates to Microsoft’s server products before that. Until then, keep an eye on LinkedIn. Apparently people love divulging details in their profiles.
I’m building a new rig using Windows Vista. I thought I’d try the 64-bit version since all the bugs and such should be gone by now. Everything went fine until I attempted to install a wireless adapter in the PCI slot. Much to my surprise, I can’t find an adapter that’s compatible with the 64-bit version. I’ve found many sites that claim to sell 64-bit wireless adapters, but when I check the details of the specs they all say 32-bit compatible. Am I missing something or do they not exist? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
As open-source proponents will tell you, there are several advantages to running Linux, and the open-source camp is about to have another bragging point, at least if you're a Chrome user. Google Chrome will soon be available in 64-bit form, but only for Linux..
"The V8 team did some amazing work this quarter building a working 64-bit port. After a handful of changes on the Chromium side, I've had Chromium Linux building on 64-bit for the last few weeks," said Chrome engineer Dean McNamee.
While Vista 64-bit users might be miffed at being left out in the cold (at least for now), the move make senses, given that 64-bit adoption is still stronger on the Linux side than it is with Windows. But given the smoother experience of moving to 64-bit on Vista compared to XP, and Windows 7 shaping up the same way, we imagine a Windows version of 64-bit Chrome can't be far behind.
One of the benefits of 64-bit software is the ability to better utilize large amounts of RAM. 64-bit software can also take up more disk space, but with 1TB drives fast becoming the norm and not the exception, even mainstream users aren't likely to scoff at the trade-off for additional performance.
Any Firefox fan will be quick to point out the open-source browser's numerous advantages over Microsoft's Internet Explorer, including 780 trillion add-ons (slightly exaggerated), better Web standards support, and arguably better performance and security. But one thing IE has that Firefox doesn't is a 64-bit browser, at least for the time being.
While no official 64-bit version of Firefox yet exists, one Firefox contributor who goes by the online alias Makoto has already ported both Firefox 3.0 and 3.5 to 64-bit editions, and has announced plans to do the same for versions 3.6 and up. If he holds true to his promise, it could mean official 64-bit builds might become a reality with Mozilla's next release, especially since Mozilla has talked about adding 64-bit support in the near future.
It might seem like a minor update, but a 64-bit build translates into faster speeds when logging onto sites using encryption (think of online banking), better memory management, and an overall snappier feel.
I’m currently debating whether to install XP x64 or Vista x64 on my main rig. I will be playing a lot of games, including Counter-Strike, Left 4 Dead, and Far Cry 2, and doing some video editing with Sony Vegas and Adobe After Effects. I’ve tried Vista x64, but issues with Creative soundcards have haunted me for the past week and a half. I still haven’t tried XP x64, but I’ve heard that there’s less support for it compared to Vista x64. I’ve already confirmed that some of my crucial programs do run on XP x64, but what about devices like the printer and camera? I have an E8400 overclocked to 4GHz, 8GB of G.Skill RAM, and an ATI Radeon HD 4850.
Read onto find out the answer to Miguel's question!
As it turns out, the rumors were true; Microsoft does plan on releasing its Office 2010 software suite in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors, says ArsTechnica, who received confirmation from a Microsoft spokesperson via an email exchange.
"Yes, Office will have two separate 32-bit and 64-bit versions," the spokesperson wrote. "Office 2010 will be the first to do this."
While the benefits of running Office natively in a 64-bit environment might not be particularly exciting, making the popular software suite available as such could help expedite 64-bit adoption among other vendors. Love it or hate it, this also means a certain debt of gratitude is owed to Vista, the first mainstream Windows OS to really push 64-bit onto the masses.
Appropriately enough, look for Office 2010 to be released sometime next year.
Finally answering the call first made in 2003 and ultimately "deferred to a future release," Sun Microsystems is giving users a 64-bit plugin integrated into Java 6 Update 12. The new update also includes a 64-bit version of Webstart, a framework which offers end-users the ability to start Java applications over a network or the internet.
The 64-bit plugin is required for 64-bit browsers and comes included as part of the Java Runtime Environment. Users planning to run 32-bit and 64-bit browser interchangeably must install both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the JRE.
In addition to the 64-bit plugin, Java 6 Update 12 offers official Windows 2008 support, better performance, and no less than 140 bug fixes.
Linux has typically been at the front of the pack when it comes to 64-bit processor support, which made the lack of a compatible 64-bit Flash Player a glaring omission for the open-source platform. The no-show by Adobe has been particularly frustrating for Firefox fans, who by being limited to using the 32-bit Flash plug-in meant also being limited to the 32-bit version of Firefox. That all changes today. From Adobe Labs:
"Furthering Adobe's commitment to the Linux community and as part of ongoing efforts to ensure the cross-platform compatibility of Flash Player, an alpha version of 64-bit Adobe Flash Player 10 for Linux operating systems was released on 11/17/2008 and is available for download. This offers easier, native installation on 64-bit Linux distributions and removes the need for 32-bit emulation."
Windows and Mac users need not feel too bitter, as Adobe says native 64-support across all platforms is forthcoming, although no specific time frame has yet been announced, only that it will arrive "in an upcoming major release of Flash Player."
The decision to go with a 64-bit version of Vista over its 32-bit counterpart remains a dubious one, but not so as far as netbook vendors are concerned. Most new laptops are now shipping with a 64-bit OS. Take Best Buy's newest shipment of HP laptops, for example, who shows 11 models listed as "new arrivals." All but three come with Vista 64-bit, with the remaining models sporting Windows Vista Business downgraded to XP Pro, also in 64-bit form.
Falling memory prices could be one reason for the sudden push into 64-bit territory. Of the 9 laptops outfitted with Vista, all of them come spec'd with 4GB of RAM. But is a 64-bit OS truly necessary to take advantage of 4GB or more?
"The 64-bit versions of Windows can utilize more memory than 32-bit versions of Windows," Microsofts writes in its FAQ. "This helps minimize the time spent swapping processes in and out of memory by storing more of those processes in Random access memory (RAM) rather than on the hard disk. This, in turn, can increase overall program performance."
Running 4GB of RAM on a 32-bit OS isn't a complete waste, but because most systems will only show around 3.25GB as being installed, it's easy to see why notebook vendors would opt for a 64-bit OS to avoid customer confusion. Throw into the mix that hardware and peripheral support in Vista 64-bit is very good and it becomes a low risk option.
Hit the jump and tell us what flavor of Vista you'd prefer to have on your notebook: 32-bit or 64-bit?
When Windows Vista launched back in January 2007, the 64-bit edition was clearly not ready for primetime. The driver and compatibility issues that mired the early days of the OS were even worse on the 64-bit side, and for most users Vista x64 was completely crippled or in some cases, wouldn’t install at all. Hardware manufacturers struggled to release stable device drivers but because 32-bit and 64-bit editions both required radically different drivers, Vista x64 just wasn’t a priority. Coming up on two years later, 32-bit Vista’s issues seem to have calmed down, but what about Vista x64? Well according to Microsoft, usage of the niche OS is on the rise, but is it finally ready for prime time?
Click the jump to learn all about Vista 64 and what you need to know before you consider switching.