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 PostPost subject: Most important news about Windows '7' : 32-bit to live on        Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:57 pm 
Forget the "7" code name, which was already out there, or the 2010
release date, which was also neither new nor -- based on Microsoft
Corp.'s lately abysmal record with hitting major release dates -- exactly
set in stone.

The most concrete news to come out of Microsoft Corp's well-executed
leak of a few sparse details about the next version of Windows is that it
will continue to come in both 32- and 64-bit editions.

That will cause many Windows users, primarily businesses, to sigh with
relief. PC vendors and large software makers, who see more-powerful 64
-bit PCs as key to driving demand for both hardware and software in an
increasingly Web-centric world, are likely to have a very different
reaction.

Bits of the solution

The number of bits determines how large the chunks of data a
component of the PC can process, which determines how much data it
can handle and ultimately how fast it can perform. For instance, '80s-era
PCs with hybrid 8/16-bit architectures were limited to a maximum of
64KB of RAM.

In contrast, a modern PC running a 32-bit version of Windows XP can
utilize up to 4GB of RAM.
Meanwhile, 64-bit versions of Windows XP and Vista can support up to
128GB of physical RAM and 16TB of almost-as-fast virtual memory.

Combined, the two techniques can offer steep performance boosts for
software ported from 32-bit to 64-bit. And they enable software such as
database-driven or multimedia applications that were formerly infeasible
on 32-bit PCs.

64-bit processors for desktop PCs have been available from Advanced
Micro Devices Inc. and Intel Corp. since 2004. Microsoft followed,
releasing 64-bit versions of XP and Windows Server 2003 in the middle of
the following year.

But while 64-bit server adoption roars along, the process has been much
slower on the desktop side. 32-bit software and drivers can be buggy or
demonstrate scant performance improvement in 64-bit environments.
Those problems can arise even if users are simply moving from 32- to 64-
bit editions of the same version of Windows, such as XP.

When under-the-hood changes don't result in better performance,
customers will be happy tweaking what they already have.

For instance, during Microsoft's quarterly financial forecast last week, the
company lowered its year-ahead forecast for Vista shipments vs. XP,
from 85%/15% to 78%/22%.

From 16 to 32, a smooth move

The last time around, Microsoft was gentle in moving users from 16-bit to
32-bit, taking a decade to complete the transition.

Starting with 1990's Windows 3.0 and finishing with 2000's Windows ME,
Microsoft released five versions of Windows supporting both 16-bit and
32-bit. In comparison, Windows 7 will be only the third Windows version,
after 64-bit XP's arrival in 2005, to sport dual 32/64-bit compatibility.

Apple Inc. has a similar hybrid strategy. Its upcoming Mac OS X 10.5,
a.k.a. "Leopard," is a true 64-bit environment that will ostensibly also
offer full compatibility with 32-bit applications on, for instance, older
PowerPC-based Mac hardware.

Companies, especially those running esoteric or in-house-written
applications, will be the happiest to hear that Windows 7 will still support
32-bit software, since it will allow them to avoid expensive rewrites if
they decide to upgrade.

It will also be welcomed by Microsoft salespeople, systems integrators
and value-added resellers, who will have more options to offer cost-
conscious customers.

PC makers and big independent software vendors who may have hoped
that Microsoft would push customers harder to 64-bit will be the least happy.

64-bit enables developers to add features and let desktop applications
run much faster. Those are much-needed differentiators, now that users
are taking serious looks at software-as-a-service applications such as
Google Office.

Similarly, because SaaS applications' performance is more dependent
upon the Web site's architecture and the user's broadband link, they don't
require ultrapowerful PCs. That could remove the need for users to
upgrade -- hurting the PC market, or so fear vendors.

Source.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 2:08 am 
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nice to read that they support these 2 technologies. I thinked the 64bit architecture its the future for apps and all the other programmable things


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 2:22 am 
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Thats not really the best of news imo. i think that microsoft should really get rid of 32-Bit now. By the time it's released, 64-Bit processors will be everywhere, even if you don't think they are now. And realistically will Windows 7 be usable on a 32-Bit OS, with its 4-Gb RAM limit. Considering vista's taste for memory, it's not going to be a good idea. Also, 64-Bit is the future, and MS need to get rid of 32-Bit to encourage software makers to finally start making 64-Bit software.

On that note, I think the next version of server should be available in 32-Bit anyway.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Most important news about Windows '7' : 32-bit to live        Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 4:48 am 
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As always, it's a Windows-centric article. Linux has had full AMD64 support since before AMD released the first x86-64 CPU, in 2003. Apple had 64-bit support in OSX since the G5 edition of OSX 10.2.7. Only Microsoft is so slow to adopt new architectures, because of its closed model. There are barely any open drivers for Windows, and because of that, it takes years for the industry to adapt. In contrast, all hardware supported by the Linux kernel is supported on all of the architectures it runs on (all 24 of them).

KenOath wrote:
almost-as-fast virtual memory.

That statement made me laugh :D
(more or less obsolete) Single-channel DDR-400: 3.2 or 6.4 GB/s (depending on the CPU)
Modern consumer hard-drives: 50-80 MB/s
And not to mention the processing overhead associated with swapping data in and out of virtual memory.

KenOath wrote:
Starting with 1990's Windows 3.0 and finishing with 2000's Windows ME,
Microsoft released five versions of Windows supporting both 16-bit and
32-bit.

Not even close. Windows 3.0 could be run in both real mode and 386 enhanced mode, but it wasn't 32-bit, it just took advantage of the 386's multitasking abilities. The first version of Windows to offer 32-bit support was NT 3.1, which didn't support 16-bit systems. NT 3.1 also supported the 64-bit DEC Alpha platform and the ARC platform, but as these weren't used to ease migration, they don't count.

KenOath wrote:
Similarly, because SaaS applications' performance is more dependent
upon the Web site's architecture and the user's broadband link, they don't
require ultrapowerful PCs. That could remove the need for users to
upgrade -- hurting the PC market, or so fear vendors.

Web apps require CPUs much more powerful than the ones their desktop equivalents do (because they're interpreted rather than compiled). They appear more dependent on the Internet connection because it becomes the bottleneck. If you'll put 64GB of RAM on a 386, it still won't run Vista quickly, because the CPU is the bottleneck. Similarly, Google Office won't be usable on a Pentium-2 even if it was connected to the Internet by a 10 gigabit link.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:31 am 
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I didn't know Microsoft was even considering not supporting 32-bit for the consumer editions.
Frankly, not supporting 32-bit would be idiotic and would severly cripple sales, there are computers today that are 32-bit that might run this OS. Besides, the need for 16-bit support in modern Windows is presumably considerable from enterprises.

As long as the OS is considered useable on that platform then there is no need to drop support, think about the low-end market (So until 4 GB isn't enough we will have 32-bit).

Yes, moving everything over to 64-bit would be nice, but silly ideologies don't make you money, not making illogical decisions however, does.
This goes into what ppc_digger said, that closed source drivers help make major changes in architectures take longer.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Most important news about Windows '7' : 32-bit to live        Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:25 pm 
ppc_digger wrote:
As always, it's a Windows-centric article. Linux has had full AMD64 support since before AMD released the first x86-64 CPU, in 2003. Apple had 64-bit support in OSX since the G5 edition of OSX 10.2.7. Only Microsoft is so slow to adopt new architectures, because of its closed model. There are barely any open drivers for Windows, and because of that, it takes years for the industry to adapt. In contrast, all hardware supported by the Linux kernel is supported on all of the architectures it runs on (all 24 of them).

KenOath wrote:
almost-as-fast virtual memory.

That statement made me laugh :D
(more or less obsolete) Single-channel DDR-400: 3.2 or 6.4 GB/s (depending on the CPU)
Modern consumer hard-drives: 50-80 MB/s
And not to mention the processing overhead associated with swapping data in and out of virtual memory.

KenOath wrote:
Starting with 1990's Windows 3.0 and finishing with 2000's Windows ME,
Microsoft released five versions of Windows supporting both 16-bit and
32-bit.

Not even close. Windows 3.0 could be run in both real mode and 386 enhanced mode, but it wasn't 32-bit, it just took advantage of the 386's multitasking abilities. The first version of Windows to offer 32-bit support was NT 3.1, which didn't support 16-bit systems. NT 3.1 also supported the 64-bit DEC Alpha platform and the ARC platform, but as these weren't used to ease migration, they don't count.

KenOath wrote:
Similarly, because SaaS applications' performance is more dependent
upon the Web site's architecture and the user's broadband link, they don't
require ultrapowerful PCs. That could remove the need for users to
upgrade -- hurting the PC market, or so fear vendors.

Web apps require CPUs much more powerful than the ones their desktop equivalents do (because they're interpreted rather than compiled). They appear more dependent on the Internet connection because it becomes the bottleneck. If you'll put 64GB of RAM on a 386, it still won't run Vista quickly, because the CPU is the bottleneck. Similarly, Google Office won't be usable on a Pentium-2 even if it was connected to the Internet by a 10 gigabit link.


Don't quote me, quote the source, I'm just the messenger of the article...


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:23 pm 
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the 32bit version might be something like vista basic, while and higher versions will be 64bit only


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:31 pm 
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___ wrote:
the 32bit version might be something like vista basic, while and higher versions will be 64bit only

That's stupid and would limit sales.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:45 pm 
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I think right now, Vista should be available as 32-Bit, but by the time Seven is released in 2010, if not later, it will be nearing 7 years since the AMD64 standard was released, and who will be running Windows 7 on a 7 year old PC. A seven year old PC now would not reach the minimum specs for vista, so i see little point in producing a 32Bit version of 7. But that's just my opinion, and i can see some of your reasoning...

(PS, 400th Post :D)

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:03 am 
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As a system builder, this is not good news, if the customers find out that their new version of windows works on their 32bit Dell, and that they dont have to buy from me, that means less money .

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 1:23 am 
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hounsell wrote:
by the time Seven is released in 2010, if not later, it will be nearing 7 years since the AMD64 standard was released, and who will be running Windows 7 on a 7 year old PC

Yes, but while the oldest 64-bit machines will be seven years old by then, there will still be many newer non-64-bit ones given that many of the PCs on the market today are still 32-bit and will probably continue to be for some time.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 1:32 am 
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Vista Ultimate R2 wrote:
hounsell wrote:
by the time Seven is released in 2010, if not later, it will be nearing 7 years since the AMD64 standard was released, and who will be running Windows 7 on a 7 year old PC

Yes, but while the oldest 64-bit machines will be seven years old by then, there will still be many newer non-64-bit ones given that many of the PCs on the market today are still 32-bit and will probably continue to be for some time.


Not new PCs though, and the majority (ie all but 1 or 2) of people i know now have 1 or more 64-Bit Computers, I haven't seen a 'new' 32-Bit PC for sale for at least nearly a year, both intel and amd haven't produced 32-Bit processors for a while. In the end though, I think whether the OS is a good one or whether its a flop, will determine how well the OS sells, if it's good, people won't care if it's 64-Bit only, as most will have that by then anyway. We have to go to 64-Bit sometime, and this is a good opportunity.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:51 am 
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hounsell wrote:
Not new PCs though, and the majority (ie all but 1 or 2) of people i know now have 1 or more 64-Bit Computers, I haven't seen a 'new' 32-Bit PC for sale for at least nearly a year, both intel and amd haven't produced 32-Bit processors for a while. In the end though, I think whether the OS is a good one or whether its a flop, will determine how well the OS sells, if it's good, people won't care if it's 64-Bit only, as most will have that by then anyway. We have to go to 64-Bit sometime, and this is a good opportunity.

Remember that Intel's Core Duo, which is only one generation behind the current mobile CPU (C2D) and which is still being sold in some notebooks, is 32-bit only. My notebook is only slightly older than one year and has a Core Duo, this may apply to some others out there as well. This means that if Seven comes out in 2010, the notebooks will be 4 years old and still in posession of their respective owners, which might want to upgrade (I won't, but I'm certainly not the only one posessing a relatively new x86 notebook).


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:59 am 
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sorry i forgot about the 1 exception. Does anyone know why intel did this? :?

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 4:05 am 
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hounsell wrote:
sorry i forgot about the 1 exception. Does anyone know why intel did this? :?

I think it's because the Core Duo is not based on the "Core" micro-architecture and thus x86_64 hasn't been implemented, whereas the Core 2 Duo is Core-based, no matter if mobile or not.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 7:16 am 
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hounsell wrote:
Not new PCs though, and the majority (ie all but 1 or 2) of people i know now have 1 or more 64-Bit Computers, I haven't seen a 'new' 32-Bit PC for sale for at least nearly a year, both intel and amd haven't produced 32-Bit processors for a while.

It seems to be only higher-end computers that have Core 2 Duos though - are all the cheaper Celerons etc really all 64-bit? The Mac Mini also still comes with a Core (1) Duo too, for instance.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 7:27 am 
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almost all socket 775 (the last) celerons are 64Bit and i have a £25 Socket 754 Sempron 2800+ thats 1 1/2 years old, and that runs 64-Bit great. I use a 64Bit OS for some of my work, though admittedly, most work is now on a 32Bit OS because of the reduced memory requirements. 64Bit is definitely worth it though, 64Bit apps load so much quicker, and i've also used x64 linux, which was far better than the 32bit version, because it doesnt have any of the pitfalls you would associate with 64Bit windows. anyway, that was going slightly offtopic but id say the sooner they make the large transition to 64Bit Windows, the better.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 7:32 am 
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Vista Ultimate R2 wrote:
It seems to be only higher-end computers that have Core 2 Duos though - are all the cheaper Celerons etc really all 64-bit? The Mac Mini also still comes with a Core (1) Duo too, for instance.

There are cheaper variants of the Core 2 Duo, the E4xxx series for instance. Also, newer Celerons have the x86_64 extensions, but there were (are?) some which didn't. The Mac mini is one of the examples of a desktop system which is still x86.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 7:00 pm 
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apart from socket 478 celerons, there are only a few socket 775 celerons that are x86. All 32Bit processors (with the exception of the core (1) processors) were phased out over 1 1/2 years ago.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:17 pm 
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Don't forget the Celeron M ULV in today's UMPCs. Or the Core Duo ULV. There's no current UMPC with an x86_64 CPU. AMD's Geode is not 64-bit either.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:46 am 
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There are other competitors in the X86 desktop market. VIA for one and Transmeta for another. Neither support x86-64


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:18 am 
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Correct, I had forgotten those, sorry.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 2:13 am 
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RentedMule wrote:
There are other competitors in the X86 desktop market. VIA for one and Transmeta for another. Neither support x86-64

[Sarcasm] I am sure we will all morn the loss of VIA's quality products [\Sarcasm]

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:02 am 
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Frozenport wrote:
RentedMule wrote:
There are other competitors in the X86 desktop market. VIA for one and Transmeta for another. Neither support x86-64

[Sarcasm] I am sure we will all morn the loss of VIA's quality products [\Sarcasm]

Sure these products are no screamers in terms of performance, but they're very efficient when it comes to power consumption, and there are situations where this is more important than raw performance.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:45 am 
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empireum wrote:
Frozenport wrote:
RentedMule wrote:
There are other competitors in the X86 desktop market. VIA for one and Transmeta for another. Neither support x86-64

[Sarcasm] I am sure we will all morn the loss of VIA's quality products [\Sarcasm]

Sure these products are no screamers in terms of performance, but they're very efficient when it comes to power consumption, and there are situations where this is more important than raw performance.

Not to mention being small.


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