Posted by: Jay Dugan
64 bit computing, Adobe, AMD, Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Windows 7
The processor technology for 64-bit computing has been available from Intel and AMD for several years but consumer acceptance has been slow due to hardware issues and a lack of 64-bit application software. Microsoft has had a 64 bit desktop OS starting with XP Pro but it saw little success. That is rapidly changing as software developers and manufacturers are coming out with a flood of 64-bit applications. The new Windows 7 operating system comes in a 64-bit version that is becoming the choice among the early adopters of the OS over the 32-bit version.
Microsoft 64 bit technology offers 32 bit compatibility but DOS and 16 bit support are no longer available. Several Microsoft application servers have 64 bit versions with 64 bit Office applications expected by 2010. Manufactures such as Adobe and Apple are offering or have in the works 64-bit versions of their popular software.
One of the main advantages of the 64-bit operating system is memory addressing. A 32-bit OS is limited to 4GB of RAM. However, the amount of memory a 64-bit OS can access is exponentially greater, potentially up to several million gigabytes of RAM.
As more 64 bit applications are written and as the cost of memory comes down, the 64-bit revolution will be just around the corner.