Windows XP Beta Brings AMD64 Support

To coincide with today's launch of the AMD Athlon 64, Microsoft has issued a beta version of Windows XP designed for the long-awaited new desktop and notebook processor.

Redmond announced its intentions to support the AMD64 platform last April, after it shipped a preview version of the operating system to developers. Dubbed Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems, the beta will also natively support AMD's Opteron processor for servers and workstations.

"This new 64 bit-Windows platform provides customers with new levels of compatibility and capability," a Microsoft spokesperson told BetaNews. "Customers who invest in 64-bit technology with the AMD Athlon 64 or AMD Opteron processors can run their current 32-bit applications on the 64-bit operating system due to Microsoft's Windows on Windows 64 (WOW64) emulation technology."

Designed for use on high-end desktops, Windows XP 64-Bit Edition boasts the ability to bypass 4-gigabyte physical memory limitations found in 32-bit systems. Applications of 64-bit computing include advanced gaming, digital content creation and video editing.

"Windows XP and AMD64 hold the promise of bringing 64-bit computing to a whole new set of computer users, delivering immersive, cinema-quality user experiences for gaming and working with digital media," said Dirk Meyer, AMD's senior vice president of the Computation Products Group, in a statement.

The Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems beta release is currently available to MSDN subscribers, with a final release expected in the first half of next year. A beta of Windows Server 2003 for 64-Bit Extended Systems has also been released.

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