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Windows edges closer to 64-bit world

Microsoft has moved closer to the launch of a 64-bit Windows XP version, with the availability of trial software for users.

Microsoft has moved closer to the launch of a 64-bit Windows XP version, with the availability of trial software for users.

This week, the company made a trial version of Windows XP 64-Bit Edition available for order on CD or as a download. The software is designed to work with AMD’s Athlon 64 or Opteron processors, and won’t work with Intel’s existing 64-bit offering, the Itanium chip.

While Microsoft stresses on its web site that the software is for testing and evaluation purposes only, the closer the company gets to a full launch of XP 64-Bit Edition, the happier AMD will be. The company wants the 64-bit OS to be available, so that application developers will write applications that take full advantage of 64-bit computing.

According to reports in the past week or so, Intel is also going to push into the 64-bit space for the desktop, with a number of reports saying it will demo 64-bit capability for its Pentium processors this month. However, such a move could have an adverse impact on its sales of Itanium processors.

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