Microsoft moves forward on 64-bit OS

Microsoft has finally set a date for when it will ship a 64-bit version of its Windows XP operating system. Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems is scheduled to be released in the fourth quarter of this year.

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By  Peter Branton Published  May 6, 2004

Microsoft has finally set a date for when it will ship a 64-bit version of its Windows XP operating system. Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems is scheduled to be released in the fourth quarter of this year. Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman and chief software architect, announced the OS at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Seattle, US this week. “This is for Windows XP home use, Windows XP business use, all of these things will benefit from 64-bit,” he said. “I think you’ll see this come in on the so-called workstation, high-end desktop and server very rapidly, 64-bit server will be commonsense within the next couple of years.” “At the desktop level, even there, there’s a lot of benefit,” he added, stressing the benefits of the extra floating point capabilities. “So even for people building entertainment applications, they’ll want to exploit the unique capabilities of the 64-bit chip.” At least one company will be happy with the announcement: AMD has pushed hard for 64-bit computing, with its Athlon processor effectively forcing Intel to follow suit. “AMD pushed forward on that, really promoted that as a good way to go,” Gates said. “And now of course, Intel will have these capabilities as well.” While AMD has been claiming good sales of its Athlon processor, analysts have said that 64-bit computing won’t really take off until more applications are developed for it, and many application developers in turn have been waiting for Microsoft to release XP 64-Bit Edition. While Gates predicted the move towards 64-bit computing, one IT stalwart seems on the way out. “I think this is the first time I can say that the floppy disk is dead,” he told the audience. “You know, we enjoyed the floppy disk it was nice, it got smaller and smaller, but because of compatibility reasons, it sort of got stuck a the 1.44 megabyte level, and carrying them around, and having that big physical slot in machines, that became a real burden,” he said.

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