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.

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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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