Microsoft Details 64-Bit Windows Plans

Microsoft today announced plans regarding the upcoming release of Windows for Intel's 64-bit Itanium processors. Windows XP 64-Bit Edition will debut with 32-bit versions on October 25, but will be first available through an 'Early Deployment Program' for developers. The 64-bit Windows Advanced Server Limited Edition will become available upon general availablity of Itanium systems. Microsoft toyed with the idea of releasing a 64-bit version of Windows 2000, but held off due to delays surrounding the Itanium.

"The 64-bit Windows platform is the best choice for customers who want to combine powerful, 64-bit computing with great price/performance and manageability, unmatched scalability, and broad hardware and software support," said senior vice president of the Windows Division, Brian Valentine, in today's press release.


Microsoft promises to support more than 300 software applications for the 64-bit Windows Platform, including SQL Server 2000, currently in beta.

64-bit systems are aimed at businesses and other organizations needing high-powered computing solutions, not everyday computer users. While 32-bit applications will run on Windows XP 64-Bit Edition, there will be no performance increase. Intel has also stated that Itanium systems will initially be geared toward developers.

Microsoft has not yet announced pricing plans for 64-bit editions of Windows.

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