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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Go from XP to Vista only with 64-bit processor

The major question is not 'Do I want this 64 bits hardware, increased speed,?' It's 'Will my existing software run on Vista-64, or will I have to fork out huge amounts of cash for new editions?' "If the answer is, 'Yes, I will have to buy all new software,' then I'm sticking with XP until my machine dies and I can't find something else to run it." It's looking more and more likely that 64-bit desktop computing won't go mainstream until long after Windows 7 ships.

There are indications that Windows 7 due to ship in early 2010 won't be a major upgrade from Vista. Nevertheless the real choice isn't between Vista and Windows 7; it's between moving to a 64-bit version of Windows now or later.

It doesn't make sense to upgrade your XP operating system without upgrading to 64-bit hardware and software in order to get the most out of both.

Early testers of the new release indicated recently to All About Microsoft blogger Mary Jo Foley that a public beta of Windows 7 is due around mid-December 2008. One big reason why Microsoft should have no problem meeting its shipping deadlines for Windows 7 is that the OS will not be much different from Vista Service Pack 1, which shipped last spring. Testers of early preview releases indicate that Windows 7 will provide greater stability, reliability, and performance than Vista.

One of the three biggest complaints about Vista — or more specifically, the 32-bit version of Vista — is performance. (The other two big Vista problems, application incompatibilities and the lack of device drivers, have been solved over the past year and a half, with a few noteworthy exceptions.) The 32-bit edition of Vista supports only 3GB of memory, a limitation that the 64-bit edition doesn't have. Whereas 64-bit Vista address from 8GB for Vista Home Basic to 128GB for the Ultimate, Enterprise, and Business editions. All 32-bit operating systems, not just Vista, have greater memory restrictions than their 64-bit versions. The point is that lightning-fast processor cores require more ram (Random-access memory ) to support system that runs low on memory.

While there will be a 32-bit edition of Windows 7, it is inevitable the future of desktop computing is 64-bit. There is a 64-bit release of XP which Microsoft plans to end free support for XP on April 14, 2009, although the company will continue to issue critical bug fixes. Kip Kniskern, staff writer for Windows Live enthusiast site said Windows 7 is much more than Vista SP2. One feature that will be new in Windows 7 is support for multi-touch displays, which Microsoft's Surface computer pioneered.

It's unlikely to be reason enough for the millions of XP users in the world to postpone their next system upgrade in a hurry unless when you're ready for a 64-bit desktop PC.

Excerpt from Stuart J. Johnston report.

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