Processors

The slow rise of 64-bit computing


I was working with a client recently and I noticed a wall full of 64-bit desktop computers all stacked in a row. I began questioning my colleague, and learned a great deal about Windows Vista 64-bit computing on the desktop.

As I listened intently, I couldn’t help but to chuckle at his predicament (on the inside of course): A room full of 64-bit desktop computers and a purchase order in for a dozen duo core 32-bit Intel processor machines. You might be wondering why at this point anyone would abandon 64-bit desktop computing. The main reason is largely due to inadequate drivers and a technology that is still being sold with 32-bit operating systems installed.

Here’s the scenario: You have a good budget for new, cutting-edge computers. You talk with your sales rep. or shop Dell or Gateway online to get a purchase order for a batch of new computers. You have the choice of x86 32-bit or x64 64-bit. So of course you choose the 64-bit right? That’s the wave of the future. But wait!!

The major flaw in this scenario is that all 64-bit desktops come loaded with 32-bit operating systems. Ouch! If you can’t even get the appropriate operating system on your 64-bit system, what makes you think you are going to get your plethora of applications to work, especially proprietary programs that only exist for your company?

Additionally, there is no incentive from Microsoft partners to produce. Adoption of 64-bit desktop computing is very slow and until numbers increase, you will not see the driver support. In fact, we still have drivers that aren’t ready on the 32-bit platform of Windows Vista. What makes you think Microsoft vendors and partners are itching to spend money to support 64-bit drivers when the industry is still slapping the 32-bit operating system of Windows Vista on all 64-bit desktop machines.

There is a Catch-22 here. Most businesses will not adopt 64-bit desktop computing if they know there is no driver support, and vendors and partners won’t provide drivers if the demand is not there. The situation sounds very similar to trying to get your first job with no experience.

Beyond the issue of driver support is software compatibility. You do have down-level support of 32-bit applications and software. While you can get the 64-bit operating system working on 64-bit hardware with no problem, an issue arises when you run into several peripherals or devices that just will not work. Vendors are aware of this situation and I believe this is the main reason they are not slapping the 64-bit version of Windows Vista on 64-bit machines.

By doing this, they do not have to support you. They know it is a support center’s worst nightmare. Imagine how many calls they would get when a printer or wireless card driver will not load on 64-bit. By not loading the operating system, vendors and partners have an out. If you load it yourself and things do not work, they can just say go back to the preinstalled version. Can you see the game?

Adoption of 64-bit desktop computing will be very slow but there will be an advantage to using it when all the hardware support and software support is available. The idea that you can boost your RAM all the way to 128 GB from 4GB is astounding. Imagine how many virtual machines you can run on a single high-powered 64-bit desktop. The future is 64-bit computing, but that future is still way off.

55 comments
Thmiuatga
Thmiuatga

Actually, the future is not way off. The x64 bit dual core system I built and use presently with two 32 bit systems (with Windows and Linux) will be one year old next month. When I was researching for my build in late 06, I read an article by the staff at Maximum PC suggesting that people should stick to single core systems instead of using dual core. I know BS when I hear it and I don't buy wolftickets. Needless to say, I don't buy their magazine anymore. If you're going for a dual core system the best thing to do is get an OS that will support it. I read that x64 bit Vista Ultimate has serious problems and with the $400.00 price tag. I'll keep my money in my wallet. Just like x64 bit processing, the OS had to support the process of Hyper-threading when that was introduced prior to consumer based multi-core systems. Windows NT4.0 doesn't support x64 bit architecture nor do it's predecessors. Windows Server 2003 (x64bit, actually in two versions) supports x64bit architecture and virtualization if the hardware has that capability. The x64bit edition I have of XP Professional supports both 32bit and 64bit software. There are manufacturers working on device driver support for x64 bit operating systems. There are those who are slow at it and if they don't catch up, they'll pay in the end, and there are others that are on the mark. As for virtualization, The processor must have the capability. Just as in Hyper-threading, that process has to be built in and you have to have the operating system that supports it. Then you have to have the proper amount of memory or the whole issue is mute. The main thing is to do your research first! I read about the difference between the two versions of the Windows XP Professional x64 OEM Edition in the product description, and specifically looked at the support for 32 and 64 bit applications. Only one of them is straight 64 bit and will not accept anything else. The other supports both. Unfortunately, there were those that purchased it and later wrote their displeasures in the reviews without taking note of which version supported BOTH 32 and 64 bit software before laying the money down. And the numbers of 64 bit computing are increasing. Look in most publications and there are fewer and fewer advertisements of single core computers. The same year that Intel dropped the 938 series format for their processors I was reading about the introduction of quad core systems. This was early 06 so mind you a lot of people are trying to keep up with constant advances in the technology. As for Vista, that project was 5 years and 5 billion dollars long with plenty of issues. Microsoft kept a lot of people out of the loop so the issue of slow driver support is easily explained. If MS is holding strict access to the cards, it's doubtful anyone is going to get a quick path to the deck. Sometimes it's just that simple.

rykerabel
rykerabel

OMG! I have a 7 year old computer, everything worked the first time I installed WinXP Pro x64. My wife's computer has all the latest and greatest and her's also runs XP Pro x64 without a hitch. I have all kinds of old junk that works with it too. Honestly, stuff that doesn't work with x64 fails because its not supported. MS only requires the validation because of all that worthless unsupported junk out there.

CharlesL
CharlesL

I think he's right on time! as you sit in a coperate inviorment, and lets say the man says to you "i think we need a fax server" why don't you pull up the Dell site and order one of those nice 64bit optiplexes. you already no that he asumes because it's a 64bit machine that it means Fast! and you no it's not! and your not going to here the end of it,Like you recogmended it when your just doing what your asked

akayani
akayani

You dudes really should do a bit more reading before you write articles or make comments. 1. All 64bit drivers MUST be signed. This delays release and costs extra. 2. All (sound/video etc) 64 bit drivers MUST conform to the Vista Protected Media Path or they won't support Premium Content playback. That means strict hardware stuff too. All this is complex and a serious ask of hardware providers both in technology and in learning new knowledge. It's got bugger all to do with a hold up due to lack of need. There is a big tool up underway with serious consequences for the openness of the PC platform. You better all go do some readings less you just sound ignorant. ;) http://www.microsoft.com/technet/technetmag/issues/2007/04/VistaKernel/default.aspx http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html Yani

cherrytwist
cherrytwist

Steven Warren is so disconnected, it's not even funny. I've been running x64 Vista Ultimate for well over two years now, if I count time during the beta. And I've been running it exclusively since RTM. The only piece of hardware that I don't have drivers for is something I didn't really need to use anymore anyway. An absolutely ancient two-channel Promise FastTrak 100 IDE RAID controller. I just threw that in another machine and forgot all about it. Everything else that I use has drivers. The only software I've run into that won't run is even more ancient 16-bit Windows software, which prompted me to look for newer replacements anyway, which I did find. This is the most ill-informed article I've read in quite some time. I had to double-check that the date on it said January 31st, 2008, and not 2007, since the arguments he presented barely had merit back then. They certainly hold no water now.

pjcasey75
pjcasey75

Ever heard of a company, once the 2nd largest computer company in the world, called Digital Equipment Corporation? Created a 64 bit hardware platform with the first 64 bit OS (two of them, if I recall correctly - VMS and Unix) to boot? No longer in existence - bought out by Compaq, also no longer in existence - bought by HP. Aside from the fact that Digital couldn't market it's way out of a paper bag, the technology was pretty advanced, especially for it's day - but practically no one adopted it (hence the company lost money in truly history making fashion) because there were no widely used applications designed to take advantage of the power of the platform. Back then, folks like Intel raised the question, "who on earth really needs 64 bits of addressable space?". The real question isn't when do you need 64, but when do you need 33? Still the question. And the hindrances to adoption of 64 bit computing are also still the same as they were - when will major league hardware and software vendors (Intel and Microsoft) step up their development to make it worthwhile for users to move? And/or what will be the gotta-have-it application (outside of gaming) that will make the drive to a 64 bit world worth it?

IC-IT
IC-IT

I fully understand the dilema with driver (and program) support but .... The article states "wall full of 64-bit desktop computers all stacked in a row", but then goes on to state that all 64-bit computers come with a 32-bit OS. If that is the case there is no reason those systems couldn't be used (unless it is Vista itself). :-)

rickeyln
rickeyln

Somebody (a fairly big company)is going to have to be either visionary (and rich) or just gung-ho enough to just go with 64-bit and not look back, and try to drag others along with them. Getting an IT job without prior experience looks easier than getting people to go the 64-bit route.

pearsonscott2
pearsonscott2

If your PCs are 7 years old, and AMD released it's first 64-bit PC in 2003, which was 5 years ago, and Intel did not release it's 64-bit Xeon until 2004, which was 4 years ago, then you either 1) Are being untruthful about the age of your machines unless you were only referring to the case, because the only 64-bit machines around 7 years ago were Itanium machines. Windows XP Pro x64 cannot be installed on an Itanium system. see http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/64bit/facts/sysreq.mspx or 2) You need to recheck your math.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Do you understand that bit? The hardware does not support the operating system. Still with me? So who is responsible for the hardware not being supported. The operating system ! Now putting aside the MS EULA for just a moment, who's junk is it, why did I buy it in the first place, and where did I use it? Come on you are an IT consultant, you should know this stuff. Do you want to buy a bridge by the way?

bodhitree2
bodhitree2

I don't really see the point you're trying to make. There is no shortage of x64 compatible audio/video application or hardware - in fact it seems to me as if the 'leisure sector' is leading the way in terms of x64 options. It's hard to predict what will happen tomorrow but I suspect that the first graphic/design software producer to make an x64 package available will not only secure a competitive advantage but will spark a rush towards x64 apps.

canopic@clear
canopic@clear

I don't know what planet your from, but on my earth, WinXP-x64 computing is a disaster. I can't say if Vista-x64 is any better, but my guess is probably not much. Regardless there are heaps of businesses and private users that don't want to change to Vista. I have seen heaps of quite new hardware, that doesn't work with x64. There are lots of printers that have no 64 bit driver and their 32-bit driver doesn't even install. Zonealarm Firewall [last time I checked] has no 64 bit version and the 32 bit one refuses to install. My Power Director DVD player crashes and there is no upgrade to 64-bit available. Even Microsoft packages such as NET Framework, dotnetfx3, are a problem. If you only want to do WP [without printing anything], and surf the internet [without printing anything!], then x64 is OK, but if you are into more serious computing, more than half of what you want to do is not possible yet. Your scathing criticism of Steve Warren is without merit and only massaging your own ego.

pearsonscott2
pearsonscott2

Apparently you were just plain lucky. Although why you need to run 64-bit Vista when you probably are running almost everything in 32-bit, and thus getting no performance improvements over 32-bit Vista is beyond me. You don't explain what advantage it gives you, other than bragging rights. And funny thing about Microsoft's support for 64-bit windows -- their Windows update will not work with their 64-bit version of Internet Explorer 7. If you try to use Windows update with it, a window will pop-up saying it needs to open a 32-bit Internet Explorer window. I started out installing Win XP x64 on an Opteron system. Kiss onboard NIC goodbye, I had to go out an buy a new NIC. I also had to replace the graphics card because NVidia only supports their newer graphics cards on 64-bit platforms. Which meant I had to replace my PVR card, which meant I had to search for one that had 64-bit drivers. Which there was very few. Also kiss good-bye using packet-writing to CD in 64-bit (some of us do use packet writing to CD). I thought I had researched everything to find 64-bit hardware, but I discovered the hard way that their 64 bit drivers and/or software did not work under Windows XP x64, even though they claimed it did, and I had to wait for them to release patches. Some things never worked and I was out of luck until I could afford to buy more expensive items. Norton/Symantec and ZoneAlarm initially even refused to write 64-bit software firewalls and said so on their websites at one time. 64-bit drivers for motherboard hardware were another hold-up. Considering that 64-bit Windows, XP & Vista were supposedly created for high-end workstations AND serious gaming, you would think that there would be more hardware support, but there isn't. Two years ago there was only one NIC that I could find that actually had 64-bit drivers. There were no TV or PVR cards that had 64-bit drivers that I could find. NVidia had 64-bit support for it's higher end cards. As most software for 64-bit Windows is actually 32-bit, anyone purchasing a 64 bit processor to use under Windows XP x64 or Vista 64 bit is wasting their money, unless they have applications that actually are written in 64-bit code, like big commercial 3-D packages and video-processing packages or studio recording or certain engineering and/or database packages. There is no speed or other improvement from running 32 bit software on 64-bit machines. From my own personal experience, Linux has better 64-bit hardware & software support than Windows XP x64 AND Vista 64 bit, although I won't guarantee it has 64-bit drivers for the latest and greatest of every piece of hardware.

Cynyster
Cynyster

Actually I ran into problems from the start. I sought to make a super powered 64bit computer. 5355 quad core processor S5000 motherboard. Mirrored C and Raid 5 D powered by an Intel RAID Controller and set out to run Vista 64... But wait Intel does not have Vista 64 bit drivers for the RAID card. It seems Micro$oft requires digitally signed drivers for any and all drivers that are to be used with Vista 64. I can imagine that paying to run your driver through the M$ money mill is what is keeping the majority of hardware manufacturers from being all gungho with releasing the appropriate hardware drivers... So needless to say I am running with XP 64. Perhaps if M$ would make it easier for 3rd parties to get their products digitally signed we might see a faster acceptance curve.

Steven Warren
Steven Warren

It is easy to run the x64 version of Windows Vista. It will work but if you pay close attention, you have a program files for your x64 and a program files (x86). I GUARANTEE you most of the software you are running is running 32 bit even though you have 64 bit OS running.

inertman
inertman

the rise that is. i also have been running vista 64 since beta1, but have found more unsupported devices. however, this is the same complaint we've heard every time since the introduction of windows from dos. i know none of the equipment i used in '78 wouldn't work on 3.11, '95, '98,'2k, or xp. why should the equipment i ussed in '98 work on vista? but now i can go to almost any vendor and buy a periph that has vista drivers. still some issues though, ie, vista won't load drivers for a hp932c on a network but will load hp lj4 drivers on the same network same shared machine/devices. butonce again, thisisn't vista and it isn't a 64 bit problem. i have been ableto run many programs that i get a warning about from vista by using compatability mode, but some just won't. nero for one and adobe flash for another. ie7 64 works really well and itis kinda a pain to have to start ie7 32 just to view a site usingflash, but i'll live until it gets done.

pearsonscott2
pearsonscott2

If you are running an Itanium machine, you probably installed Windows XP 64-bit Edition, which is NOT Windows XP Professional x64. Windows XP 64-bit Edition was renamed Windows Server 2003 and the code was changed.

rykerabel
rykerabel

Your logic is flawed... the operating system does not support the hardware. the drivers support the hardware. its the drivers fault. the hardware manufacturer writes the drivers. its the hardware manufacturers fault. So... which software do you write again?

canopic@clear
canopic@clear

Can you read? Try reading his article again. For me his point couldn't be clearer. Most people don't want to have to throw away perfectly functional and modern hardware when changing to an x64 OS, and neither do they want to have to invest money in new APs when they have existing licences for perfectly functional 32-bit ones. These 64-bit OS's are supposed to be able to run 32-bit APs, that is the only sensible way to transition to a new OS. It failure to do so in many cases is just evidence of MS doing a shoddy job in their 32-bit emulation. I even remain unconvinced that there is any 'good' reason why MS couldn't have made their 64-bit OS's a lot more compatible with 32-bit drivers. My guess is it just comes down to putting in more effort.

cherrytwist
cherrytwist

You haven't even used it and you claim to have the answers. Sorry man, but if you haven't used it then you don't know, and thus have no opinion or experience to even state. Zonealarm? You may like it. Non-issue for me as I have no use for it. Vista's got a built-in firewall anyways. Not that I use that, either. I'm behind a hardware firewall and don't run any on any of my PCs. And, no, I don't care whether or not you agree with that, either. Your DVD software crashes, and you think that is related to whether or not it is 64-bit or has a 64-bit update coming? Okeydokey. You talk about being into more serious computing, but the things you talk about are nothing but consumer-related fluff. I don't know what else to say, as you don't really seem to know what you're talking about anyway. 64-bit Vista runs fine for me. And all the 32-bit software I use, which is plenty of apps of all different types from many different fields, runs just fine for me as well. Comparing Vista x64's support to XP x64's support is a joke, as XP x64 was more or less orphaned by almost any hardware/software vendor you could name. Microsoft never even sold it at retail, which should tell you something. Vista x64 is getting lots of support, however. But you haven't touched it, so how would you know? You've got lots of opinions, but you're basing them on nothing. By the way, I print lots of stuff every day, heh. Funny how I can do that when you say I shouldn't be able to do so, eh? ;)

cherrytwist
cherrytwist

It's no longer hard to find 64-bit drivers, so that argument no longer applies. Even Hauppauge has 64-bit drivers for their old PVR-150 TV tuner cards. And there's plenty of 64-bit software out there. Your ignorance of them doesn't mean they don't exist. Even games are coming out with 64-bit executables. None of your arguments apply today, sorry man. Even if you were correct, which you are not by a long shot, that there is no 64-bit software out there and everything I was running was 32-bit anyways and thus got no benefit from the 64-bit OS, well, you're just showing ignorance of the OS again. There are plenty of benefits to running the 64-bit OS with only 32-bit software to run. You need to do a bit more research. Like I said, I've been running x64 Vista for over two years now without issue. The fact that you had problems with XP x64 is irrelevant. Vista x64 is here and is getting support. XP x64 was pretty much abandoned from the release day.

Absolutely
Absolutely

Cynyster: [i]But wait Intel does not have Vista 64 bit drivers for the RAID card. It seems Micro$oft requires digitally signed drivers for any and all drivers that are to be used with Vista 64.[/i] It's odd, considering how well-known it is that Microsoft is chosen as the perceived lesser of the competing evils, because of the open, x86 architecture on which it runs. Yes, Joe Sixpack doesn't need to know the jargon, and although Joe MBA should, his connections make it unnecessary; both buy Microsoft for that reason, not for "quality," which the vast majority of users are totally unequipped to even begin to analyze. "It doesn't work the same way every time," is more empirical, and perfectly valid, but not as helpful for decision-making purposes. "Computers that work" are not in their own aisle of the Big Box Store or category in the Online Store, but most customers' understanding of the product is right about that level. It's quite a racket Microsoft is flushing down the toilet. Well, I guess that turned into a bit of a rant, but it is still true that Microsoft's perceived value has always been its compatibility with an open hardware market. It isn't easy to rationalize increasing the difficulty for the partners of helping them compete. I guess the key is the word "compete," which really does not apply to a company with over 90% of its market.

liljim
liljim

I have been running Windows XP Pro 64 bit since December of 2005. There have been som problems with drivers for legacy devices. But I have been running all of my accounting and tax software with no problems. I even loaded and ran the 2000 versions of Intuit's ProSeries Income Tax software with NO PROBLEMS. I have installed and used DosBox to run Dos applications that use a Mouse and VESA software graphics drivers with little trouble. I like to play computer games in my free time. I have games from one company, Windows 95 no less, which I can't run without rebooting to Windows XP pro 32 bit. Other than that I have had a very satisfactory time with 64 WinXP. I have had three different CPUs, all Athlons. Currently I run an Athlon X2 5200+ with 2gb of memory and an nVidia 7950GX. The system hums and the only devices I had to abandon was two vintage flatbed scanners. Reading between the lines, I think the problem is M$oft's effort to force digital signing in Vista. It is a hurdle that retards the growth and support of anything other than mainstream hardware platforms. That is one more reason to support the "Keep WinXP Alive" efforts, much to M$oft's chagrin.

inertman
inertman

thanks for the guarantee. however, i guarantee you i run ie7 64 whenever possible and i do notice a difference. if you've read thru the rest of the posts you'll see some of what's being discussed here, aside from the bitter, pointless, arguing, is about adoption of mainstream 64-bit computing. one post even notes that you can't even use ms update in 64 bit ie7. what's up w/ that? and even if i get firefox in 64, the only reason i use it is useless when the sites i visit wish to use flash, and that isn't compatible w/ 64 bit either. another couple of posts talk about driver signing. this can be turned off but obviously this is risky, unless you wish to take responsibility for your actions, which sooooo many people don't, it's much easier to blame ms. and anyone who wishes to argue about this point, feel free, i will then try to track down how to do it and post further. next, some posts talk about spending the extra money. true, some 64 bit processors and mobos are a little more expensive. but if this is the future, what's the problem? even if you still load a 32 bit os? because when you buy either the ultimate or premium version of vista, you get both 32 & 64, you can install either w/ the same license. in these cases, the difference in cost, imho, is minimal. next is the issue of driver support vs os support. this is a chicken and the egg scenario. does microsoft have to provide the drivers or just support the drivers? does the manufacturer of the hardware have to write drivers that work w/ the os or just write drivers and make the os support everything? this is one reason people complain about ms. in my opinion, microsoft supports too many things, and driver signing may make things a little sticky, but now they're just saying 'we've had enough, either play along or don't, we don't care'. sounds just like linux and mac to me. i still can't get the newest versions of linux to work w/ my bluetooth desktop nor my nic. but they both work fine on vista. last, this response is to the 'disagree' response (to my post?). what exactly are you disagreeing to? i stated that i agreed both w/ the slowness of 64 bit computing becoming mainstream (in spite of the growing list of 64 bit aps now available, not many people are using them, in my opinion) and the post i replied to about the adoption availability of drivers, yet the reply 'guarantees' i'm running 32 bit software, which is the same point of view, is it not? thanks for playing, we have some lovely parting gifts.

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]It will work but if you pay close attention, you have a program files for your x64 and a program files (x86). I GUARANTEE you most of the software you are running is running 32 bit even though you have 64 bit OS running.[/i] If running 32 bit apps is itself a problem, that is even more a problem for 32 bit Vista, which runs [u]all[/u] apps as 32 bit (or less, in some compatibility mode), not many or most. So, sure you're right, that decreases the incentive to go to extra effort to get the 64-bit version, and if Microsoft doesn't tout its advantages to customers, many probably won't even bother noticing there's a difference. But, why does that matter? 64 bit Vista isn't "competing" with 32 bit Vista, so I don't see how selling one flavor more than the other is of any concern.

cherrytwist
cherrytwist

The point isn't whether or not the apps I'm using are 32-bit or 64-bit. The point is whether or not the 64-bit OS is functional, and the hardware is functional, and the software I'm running is functional. The author of the article is claiming that the 64-bit OS is unusable because of hardware incompatibility and application incompatibility. Whether or not the apps are 64-bit is immaterial. The 64-bit OS works great, and getting hardware with driver support is beyond simple. Thus, his article is a crock.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

I agree with Steve Warren. Men in white coats round the corner. They're coming to take me away hey-hey. :p Exchange and SQL 2005 are just about it last I looked. We've defered doing our apps again, not enough demand.

canopic@clear
canopic@clear

Painful? Certainly not simple, but maybe less painful than the ad-hoc and "patch it up" approach taken. The diversity of software is only a problem if the emulator hasn't covered all bases. As long as it faithfully follows/replicates ALL the original interfaces [that the diverse software was tested and known to work with], then which parts of this interface a particular driver or application is using shouldn't matter. Of course a good emulator should also model the same response under a whole range of error conditions. VM is a fancy buzz word that denotes fashionable methodology, and not without reason, but successful emulators [especially mainframe] were written in the '60s and 70s, using a range of methodologies without waving the VM flag. I'm not anti your reference to VM, I just don't think the issue of with/without VM has much to do with why Microsoft didn't do it. Also, with modern CPU architecture, especially 64-bit, I don't think its a given that such emulation need be slow. Although not the same thing, some of you may have seen Linux running in Windows, and Windows in Linux, with a fair turn of speed.

MikeGall
MikeGall

The could have but it probably painful for some obscure reason (x86 commands slightly modified on the processor specs to accomidate 64 bit, etc). They'd probably have to right a VM to emulate the 32 bit architecture then everything would be slow, verses some things not working. Since the 64bit is still server space that was acceptable. You can tell datacenter admins use this hardware with this software and you'll fly and leave it alone. In the personal computer space people are trying to attach their friends new MP3 player, throwing a random game on etc. much much wider range of hardware and software configurations. MS and other vendors aren't prepared to handle that much diversity AND support a variety of architectures. That is why x86 instructions continue to be pushed through the system 25 years later. Back compate and "known target".

canopic@clear
canopic@clear

You and others want to put all the responsibility with the hardware manufacturers and not with MS for their operating system defects. Now if we are only talking about writing new 64-bit drivers to replace 32-bit, then fine. But a lot of my kit such as printers, I would be quite happy if the old 32-bit drivers [XP x32] would work under 32-bit emulation on my XP x64. So can any one convince me, that MS couldn't have made the 32-bit driver emulation interface look identical on WinXP x64 to the 32-bit driver interface on WinXP x32? Surely, if they could have, they should have ... or can you think of a good reason why not? I don't see why they couldn't do this without interfering with the extra performance and functionality provided by the x64-bit driver interface.

akayani
akayani

Pretty lengthy testing phase for Vista. I think these are labeling issues. More fool us for believing X.0 anything is other than a release candidate. Or even that software might ever be perfect. Yani

canopic@clear
canopic@clear

By "more effort" I should have said of course: "better directed their efforts". In fact, I think its their product testing, that often sucks. Witness all the patches, upgrades, bug reports/fixes. Perhaps the biggest bugbear is the way they and other developers rush their products to market before they are ready.

akayani
akayani

Focus groups are part of good development process. That is not the issue. The issue is all about Digital Restrictions Management and that its implementation changes what was an open platform for all time. It is the $500M that DRM cost and the lateness of the decision to 'do it' that caused all the other issues. That is a lot of cash that could have been directed into other issues like say a decent firewall. We are paying off the $500M in the cost of Vista to the end user. MS by caving on this means Apple and Linux will now have to do the same. It all comes down to DRM with will be broken within a year in any case. Parts of it have been broken already. The focus groups would be lucky to have cost $.5M and they didn't consume the time of the best and brightest staff MS had for the project. DRM did. It means users are paying for something users never wanted. And the bill is going to keep on coming with requirements in hardware, software implementation and certification. Driver signing and implementing DRM has major impacts for 64bit hardware. No one who can evaluate what it means at a grass roots level (direct involvement) can discuss it as they are bound by NFD agreements. Seriously this is the issue that cause the problems that changed the platform for all time that users will have to pay off, who never wanted it, that every other platform will now have to implement, that will be broken in less than a year in any case. All so MS can have a media player that supports HD content if Hollywood ever actually bother to implement Premium Content Restrictions which itself many never actually happen. Yani

michaellashinsky
michaellashinsky

Put in more effort? MS is so big, it can't get out of its own way! MS has already put in 5.0 times the needed effort. Unfortunately, they are only delivering 0.5 times the needed results. Maybe, just maybe, if MS stopped competing with every other company in every other facet of the computing industry, and focused on its core business, it might start getting some work accomplished again. Right now they have committees spending months on how to make a menu look bling-bling and forget to make it functional. I would love to see MS slim down their company and their OS.

akayani
akayani

1. That anyone who says we don't need 64bit computing is just plain mad! 2. That it's slow to implement as it's been made more complex for the reasons I listed and has nothing to do with the BS I read in here. 3. That when you invest in 64bit stuff make sure you get the gear that has the goods for Protected Media Path or who knows what you won't be able to do. 4. Some of you need to do some research before you spout off as experts. The world doesn't need any more IT experts who think they know. How can anyone suggest that we don't need 64 bit computing? I've never heard anything so stupid. Under 32bit Windows you can access only 3 GB of RAM or

bodhitree2
bodhitree2

It depends on what you mean by modern? - and no-one is being forced to use 64bit OSs. Those of us who have chosen to do so have been aware from the start that the move would not be painless. It also seems to me that it is hardly Microsoft or Intel or AMD's fault that some AP's (in the main 16 bit aps and Anti-Virus/Spyware) will not run on the 64bit OSs. Some AP developers put in the effort to produce products that worked on the 64bit OSs from very early days (Avast noticably springs to mind) whilst others have lagged behind. The same goes for drivers - why was Canon able to release 64 bit drivers for its printers and scanners months before HP did? Do we blame MS, Intel and AMD for this? Anyone who worked with XP 64 bit in the early days was either brave or stubborn - it was a horrible experience, but Vista in 64 bit has been relatively painless.

canopic@clear
canopic@clear

I will take "Funny" as a praise indeed, coming from you. I found your opinion of Steve Warren super critical. I took his article as about x64 computing as about more than just vista x64 which he mentioned in passing concerning a string of computers. I have already said I don't want to buy vista x64 to solve my problems. I wanted to share that I found his comments spot on in regard to problems I had with XP x64. To me that was enough reason to object to your rubbishing his article. However, you have said some helpful stuff that I didn't know, concerning vista x64, and how much better it is that the XP version, and what an orphan XP x64 is. So thanks for that - I think you have confirmed my fears about XP x64 and that I might be unwise perservering with it. I am sure there are lots of printers less than 2 years old that can be bought to work with vista x64 and perhaps even XP x64, and I never doubted that your good experience with x64 was because you had compatible hardware - whether by chance, because it is new, or bought specifically for x64; it really doesn't matter. But I have five printers all older than 2 years and I'm not about to throw all these away just to buy x64 compatible printers. If push comes to shove I will go back to XP x32 and Linux which have served me well.

pearsonscott2
pearsonscott2

First, in case you didn't notice, I posted links to hardware still available that STILL does NOT have driver support for Vista 64-bit, even though it is now 2008. These 64-bit hardware items did not have 64-bit drivers when Vista was released in 2007, it is now 2008 and still no Vista 64 bit drivers for them. I never claimed Vista x64 doesn't work, and neither did anyone else in this forum. The only one here that claimed that is the voices in your head.

pearsonscott2
pearsonscott2

Firstly, I never said or wrote that there were no 64-bit drivers or software at all. The point I was trying to get across is that older 64-bit hardware is poorly supported on the 64-bit platform, whether it is XP x64 or Vista 64. And most businesses have older hardware. The same is true of certain types of software. Yes, support is great for Vista 64 bit, if the hardware or software is only a year old or so. Much older and it is difficult to impossible to find 64-bit Vista support, depending upon the hardware in question. As 64-bit processors have been available since 2003, this means that there is older 64-bit hardware out there that people are still using. And there isn't much 64-bit support for that older hardware, especially with Vista 64-bit. Check here -- http://www.leadtek.com/eng/tv_tuner/image/vista_support.gif there are at least 5 pieces of hardware here that Leadtek does not have Vista 64-bit support for. And you can still buy them places. Also, Leadtek does not support Vista 64 bit on its PCI Express GeForce 6 Video cards and GeForce FX video cards. They are phasing them out, but these cards can still be purchased and there is no 64-bit support for these. ZoneAlarm is not available for 64-bit Vista (or XP x64). http://www.zonealarm.com/ 64-bit motherboards -- MSI does not support all of it's 64-bit motherboards on Vista. There are at least 6 AMD 64 bit motherboards listed below that are not supported on Vista. http://www.msicomputer.com/msiforms2/VistaCapable.asp Any HP inkjet printers that are 3 years old or over, good luck with any 64 bit Vista drivers. HP doesn't make them for any older inkjets that a person may have. Considering the working lifespan of HP printers is generally well over 3 years and they still sell ink cartridges for those older products, you think they would support them with 64-bit drivers, too. As far as Vista being here to stay, I'll believe that the day Microsoft stops making operating systems. Vista won't be around any longer than Windows ME. I'd rather stake my hat on the next release (Windows 7) that's in the works than on Vista. Which I do run a 32 bit version on a laptop. Works okay. (I run Win 2K Pro, WinXP Pro, WinXP Pro x64, and opensuse 32 and 64 bit at home, along with the laptop that came with Vista pre-installed) But 64-bit support for older 64-bit hardware? Just not there the way you seem to think it is.

cherrytwist
cherrytwist

Heh. What a surprise. Vista wasn't released until January 30, 2007. Why were you surprised when drivers started coming out in 2007? This whole discussion is useless. Vista x64 works now, today, whether you like it or not. And to claim it doesn't is ludicrous.

pearsonscott2
pearsonscott2

Firstly, you were the one who said that back in 2005 you had no problems with drivers for 64 bit Vista. So why condemn someone else for bringing up 2005 and problems with 64-bit drivers. Secondly, I built my machine back in early 2005, but I did not put Win XP x64 on it until early 2006, when I thought I had found functioning 64-bit drivers for all my hardware, which turned out to be wrong, because some of the supposed 64-bit drivers weren't functional. Thirdly, 64-bit Vista drivers weren't available for my hardware back then in 2006 either. What was available was XP 32 bit, Vista 32 bit, and Win2K drivers. Fourthly, 64 bit processors and motherboards were available back in 2003 (when AMD released the Opteron). So 64-bit hardware has been around for almost 5 years now. It wasn't until 2007 that most places finally started releasing 64-bit drivers and software for most of their products. There are business places and other people who have 64-bit hardware purchased back then, and there are no 64-bit drivers for their existing 64-bit motherboards. 64 bit support for onboard NICs for motherboards created back then? Vista 64 bit or XP x64? Forget it. In 2006 I had to buy an expensive Gigabit ethernet card to get network connectivity under XP x64. There was no support under Vista 64 bit either. In fact Vista 64 bit support for most hardware and software did not even start until 2007 with most manufacturers for most of their products. New products, yes. Existing products before 2007, no. For example, Intel had no 64-bit drivers for any of their NICs back in 2006 for either XP x-64 or Vista 64 bit except for some really expensive hardware. You want to complain about people being out of touch just because you got lucky with your hardware and drivers back in 2005 with beta releases of Vista, go ahead. But a large number of business places are using equipment purchased back in 2005 and earlier, and it is still difficult to impossible to find 64-bit drivers and support (this includes Vista 64-bit) for some of that hardware. And that was part of the point of the article.

Absolutely
Absolutely

Oh well, I did find the vagueness in the original article unsatisfying in the first place; what software, exactly, will not run at all, for example, would have been nice to know. It's a pretty decent rough draft of an article concept, if he could find specific facts to support his position. Too bad he didn't before writing the article. Next.

cherrytwist
cherrytwist

I just now noticed that that reply was from the author of the article. I didn't notice that at first when I replied to him. He contradicts himself, heh, admitting his article is full of crap. He goes on and on in his article about how the 64-bit version is next to useless because of this, that, and the other. Then when someone criticizes the article he comes and replies to that criticism by stating that the OS actually runs just fine. What a joke. And then he claims to know what software I'm running on top of that, heh. For the article's author now: just to give you a small idea of just how much 64-bit software is available, there is a website that I think actually linked to the original article called http://www.start64.com/ which I believe was actually where I linked in from. Just one of many resources for getting info about 64-bit software, including drivers, that's out there. And there's PLENTY out there, from both big and small developers. The fact that you're unaware of something doesn't mean it is impossible. I stand by my original claim that your article makes absolutely no sense at this point in time, and at best would have been semi-accurate a year ago when Vista was just released. But today, it's just plain wrong. Support is pretty substantial, and continually growing. In fact, your article reads more like a plagiarized version of the type of articles that were written about the poor support available for WinXP x64, back before Vista was even released.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I've been using that for some time (admittedly through an MSDN subscription) and it's worked great. My apps that aren't available in x64 still actually work. That is alot more than I can say for Xp x64. Xp x64 was positively horrible from what experience I had with it...the only thing it worked great with was CAD,ESRI and the like.

Absolutely
Absolutely

smillin: [i]I just started with Vista 64 bit in October and in the last few months most of the issues have been fixed by suppliers. Apple now has a 64 bit version of ITunes and my ipod now syncs.[/i] You don't mind waiting a few months after paying hundreds of dollars, for the device to function properly? Whose money bought the thing?

Sarah Millin
Sarah Millin

64 bit is getting more usable. I just started with Vista 64 bit in October and in the last few months most of the issues have been fixed by suppliers. Apple now has a 64 bit version of ITunes and my ipod now syncs. Still some issues with my HP MFU but I suspect that HP just didn't spend enought time testing their 64 bit drivers properly before releasing them (had enough issues with their 32bit software before). I love having 4GB of RAM and the system is stable.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

with a wire basket tied on the back with a bungy cord to do your shopping. The slow rise of 64 bit computing is not the same as the rise of the 64 bit 32 bit emulator. The driver issues finally being sorted is nice, as long of course you don't have a box full of old promise raid arrays. The software side of it, totally unacceptable.

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