The short answer is YES, but unfortunately not soon enough. Just incase you didn’t know this Windows 7 will be the last 32Bit operating system to be released by Microsoft. On the server side of the market, the current Windows Server 2008 will be the final 32Bit Server OS.
I’m not sad to see the end of 32Bit computing, but what I’m personally questioning is the true validity of a 64Bit system, if it was that much better than 32Bit, why has it taken so long for the market to adapt to it? Finally now that we’re all “ready” to switch from 32Bit to 64Bit, is 64Bit still the best move to be making? Does 128Bit, or 256Bit exist yet?
Why now towards the end of 2008 – early 2009, You might be asking? Why is the market now hard pressed to leave behind 32Bit completely? The answer is NOT the performance gain, but rather that 32Bit systems are incapable of addressing more than 4GB’s of RAM. The reality is even harder hitting, when you install 4GBs of RAM on a 32Bit system, only to find that your system can only really see 3GBs.
2GBs of RAM was more than enough for the average home user in 2008, but this won’t be the case in 2010. Computing has entered a new era, HDD I/O being the main bottleneck. If RAM is the quickest way to read and write data, to move forward we need computers than can read and write from more RAM, 64Bit computing does address this issue.
What do you need to run a 64Bit version of windows?
(1) A CPU that supports it, (2) Drivers for your devices
Any modern Intel core duo 2 or better should be able to run a 64Bit Operating System, and most AMDs marked 64.
Drivers are really the main reason holding us 32Bit users back, but recently you’ll be suprised at the progress made in this area. I would especially like to give a hand of applause to Dell, who in my opinion are the leaders in providing their customers with alternative OS support, be that Linux/Windows – 32Bit or 64Bit.
Where to start?
If you don’t want to move over to 64Bit computing in one foul swoop, I would suggest you setup a dual boot, it could be kinda fun to try it out on a seperate partition first. You can then determine if 64Bit computing is ready for you.