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Windows XP-64 Delayed Into 2005 323

Posted by simoniker
from the better-late-than-ever dept.
vincecate writes "Although Windows XP on AMD64 was demoed at ComDex in 2002, Microsoft is now delaying the release till the first half of 2005. Given Microsoft's history on this product, it could be even more than a year before it is really released. At least one person at Intel says they did not ask Microsoft to delay the release. In any case, for the near future if you want to run a 64 bit operating system you will either be using one of the free Linux versions or the free download of Windows XP-64 beta. Though Sun started well after Microsoft, they are progressing well on their Solaris port to AMD64 and could well release earlier."
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Windows XP-64 Delayed Into 2005

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  • MS vs. Linux (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mfh (56) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:30AM (#9830232) Homepage Journal
    Really, I'm not sure why they are bothering with XP-64. Longhorn is due out soon enough... I'm just not sure I'm interested in paying for the product that will come out just before Longhorn. It's like if you had a choice between buying a flintlock pistol or a single-shot bullet operated colt, when you could wait and spend a little more money on a colt six-shooter. My point is that there's not much difference between XP and XP-64 compared to XP and Longhorn. I'm moderately satisfied with XP, apart from all the annoying Microsoft crap that comes with it, and there's no telling how much *more* of that will ship with XP-64 or even Longhorn. So I wouldn't be upgrading to get rid of the annoyances in Microsoft's products, just in some hopes of better features! I wouldn't hope for better security in future Microsoft products, because that would be futile, IMHO. The best solution for going 64 today looks like a Linux [anandtech.com]!
    • Re:MS vs. Linux (Score:2, Insightful)

      by GbrDead (702506)
      I'm just not sure I'm interested in paying for the product that will come out just before Longhorn.

      Because Longhorn might not stable (enough)?
    • Re:MS vs. Linux (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Urrr, MS have been saying that they'll offer free upgrades from XP to XP64 for people that want it.

      So, compare free WinXP64 to waiting ad infinitum for Longhorn.
    • Re:MS vs. Linux (Score:2, Interesting)

      Is switching to a 64-bit distribution basically a transparent move, or will a lot of programs that were available in the regular 32-bit version not be there or be broken?
  • by wheany (460585) <wheany+sd@iki.fi> on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:31AM (#9830235) Homepage Journal
    It's better they release it a little late than with more bugs.
  • 64 bit OS (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:31AM (#9830238)
    In any case, for the near future if you want to run a 64 bit operating system you will either be using one of the free Linux versions or the free download of Windows XP-64 beta.
    Oh, will I just? And what should I do with my Sparc workstation then?
  • Funny timing... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jarich (733129) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:31AM (#9830243) Homepage Journal
    This will give Intel's offering time to get established in the marketplace....
    • I don't know about that. Have they even released the codename for their 64-bit chip? We're all aware that they reverse engineered AMD64 to make their 64-bit chips run under the same architecture, but they havn't even told us the name of the damned thing yet. 2005 isn't far away, so Intel better hurry up. They've got a lot of things to get hammered out with bug testing, chipset development, motherboard design, etc.
      • It is called Prescott, aka P4E. Launches monday in 64 bit guise. I outed it last September on the Inq, see the links below.

        -Charlie

        http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=11668
        http: //www.theinquirer.net/?article=11781
    • They're waiting to Linux to get firmly established in this marketplace. (Or maybe they're thinking of throwing in the hat altogether.)
    • Re:Funny timing... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by _|()|\| (159991)
      On the one hand, the fact that it's taking so long looks bad for AMD64. On the other hand, the folks at AMD wisely delivered top-notch 32-bit performance. In some ways, this delay further vindicates the AMD64 design, despite all the x86 haters. I'm not sure you can market any incompatible architecture to the PC market, with the possible exception of OS X on PowerPC. AMD64 is the perfect bridge.

      If Intel gets another year to catch up, that's okay. In fact, it may lend credibility to a market in which AMD is

    • Not at all (Score:3, Informative)

      by Groo Wanderer (180806)
      You are the kind of person I was talking about when I wrote the article about the bridge dwellers in the article linked as 'one person at Intel....'. Read it, there really is no conspiracy.

      -Charlie
  • by Scrab (573004) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:32AM (#9830251)
    Microsoft bashing will commence in 3....2.....1...

    Bashing has commenced.

    Scrab
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 29, 2004 @09:21AM (#9830634)
      Com Op: Error it appears the bashing launch codes were stolen and bashing commenced earlier than intended.

      Captain: Quick into the time machine to stop this all from happening at the wrong time.

      Sarg: I'll go

      Sarg: I'm back

      Captain: how can you be back? this reality was supposed to just disappear if you suceeded.

      Sarg: that particular mission objective could not be satisfied. Instead I changed the earth's rotation on it's axis so that the microsoft bashing would occur in the right "time zone" thus making the parent poster, technically, correct.

      Captain: that's absurd!

      Sarg: well, at least we tried, sir.

      Captain: true. How did you get the earth to move?

      Sarg: I went back in time and aided the release of I, robot with will smith. Asimov was buried in the perfect location to allow for a violent spinning in his grave to realign the earth.

  • by cmoss (14324) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:33AM (#9830259)
    "In any case, for the near future if you want to run a 64 bit operating system you will either be using one of the free Linux versions"

    There are supported linux versions available as well. I know Red Hat and SuSE have released versions supporting the amd64 and I think Mandrake does as well
  • forgot one OS... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bogusbrainbonus (547948) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:34AM (#9830266)
    In any case, for the near future if you want to run a 64 bit operating system you will either be using one of the free Linux versions or the free download of Windows XP-64 beta.

    Or you'll be running Mac OS X...

  • Mac? (Score:2, Informative)

    by thaddjuice (235568) *
    In any case, for the near future if you want to run a 64 bit operating system you will either be using one of the free Linux versions or the free download of Windows XP-64 beta.

    Um, what about Mac OS X?
  • Quality Driven (Score:2, Interesting)

    by chattycathy (801106)
    "The delays are quality driven," a Microsoft statement said. The company needs more time for tuning and testing "in order to meet the high quality requirements of our customers."

    Doesn't that mean they have to pack more crap into it so it runs slower than molasses in winter?

    Really, though, it's nice if they are working on the quality of the product. Maybe this one won't ever crash, eh?
    • Re:Quality Driven (Score:2, Insightful)

      by grunt107 (739510)
      "The delays are quality driven,"

      Where is the -1 Ludicrous button?

      What they are really saying is that XP64 has so many problems it cannot be released. Or they are attempting to fix the gaping worm holes (why is that an Apple is less susceptible to worms than a Window?)
  • *BSD (Score:5, Informative)

    by c_ollier (35683) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:36AM (#9830285) Journal
    Besides Linux and Windows, you can also use FreeBSD [freebsd.org], for which amd64 is in tier 1 (full support), along with i386. Other BSDs of course support it :
    NetBSD [netbsd.org]
    OpenBSD [openbsd.org]
  • by Ronald Dumsfeld (723277) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:37AM (#9830296)
    In any case, for the near future if you want to run a 64 bit operating system you will either be using one of the free Linux versions or the free download of Windows XP-64 beta.
    My, but does anyone else think the submitter live in a rather sheltered world?

    I've been running a 64-bit operating system for the past five or six years, and it isn't one of those mentioned. It just happens to be OpenVMS [hp.com] running on Alpha.
  • Yes, this looks like flamebait, but I'm actually surprised that it's taking MS this long, considering the resources they can throw at any given problem.
    • From what I understand, they're throwing everything in sight at Service Pack 2 right now. Cleaning up Windows' security reputation (or lack thereof) is probably their number-one goal right now.
    • by hackstraw (262471) * on Thursday July 29, 2004 @10:14AM (#9831168)
      Yes, this looks like flamebait, but I'm actually surprised that it's taking MS this long, considering the resources they can throw at any given problem.

      MS historically is not that good at portability. NT on powerpc, alpha, mips(maybe) failed. MS apps are not like *nix apps where most of them are designed from the ground up to be portable across platforms, including different byte ordering and default word sizes. Linux and the BSDs have this in their OS _and_ in their apps. Even if MS were to have a working version of XP for 64bit platforms, there would be no apps for it.

      One thing that kills me are the MS macros/typedefs for working in their system. For example, the DWORD (unsigned long, 4 bytes) means "double word" which is left over from the 16bit days (2x 2 bytes). However, on most 32bit systems an int and a long are the same size (4 bytes each), on 16bit systems they are 2 bytes and 4 bytes respecively, and on 64bit systems they are 4 and 8 bytes respectively. People run into problems when they are expecting a DWORD == pointer size, and so on.

      One of MS's strong points is its backwards compatability, one of Linux and other unixlike things (including solaris) is that they are forward compatable.

      MS has got some work to do to play in a heterogenious world (read not IA32).
  • by Homology (639438) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:49AM (#9830378)
    In any case, for the near future if you want to run a 64 bit operating system you will either be using one of the free Linux versions or the free download of Windows XP-64 beta.

    You might have noticed that there are other 64 bit CPU's than AMD64 that are in wide use, and other OS than Linux suports AMD64.

    FreeBSD [freebsd.org] supports AMD64, and so does NetBSD [netbsd.org].

    Also OpenBSD [openbsd.org] supports it, but the support is even better in current. In addition, OpenBSD will use the NX-bit to increase security.

  • That I will be able to Duke Nukem Forever with 64 bit processes!
    Yay!
  • by harrkev (623093) <kfmsdNO@SPAMharrelsonfamily.org> on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:54AM (#9830415) Homepage
    The comment about Sun is not quite a fair comparison. Porting Solaris to x86-64 should be easier for Sun, since SOLARIS IS ALREADY 64 BITS!!!. The Sparc processors have been 64 bits for quite a while (I am typing this message on a Sun workstation right now).

    Windows has been 32 bits for quite a while, so the jump to 64 is a bigger step than for Sun.
    • Well, Microsoft has been working on an AMD64 port for longer than Sun has. While Solaris is already 64-bit clean, they have to get the entire OS up and running on AMD64 fairly quickly. Obviously they've hit a big milestone, so hopefully they'll be able to make their target. Of course, as the Register story mentions, they'll have a lot of negative momentum and impressions to counter even once the product is ready.
  • WOW64 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kujah (630784)
    I think mainly their delaying for two reasons: WOW64 and driver support.

    Having played with the beta of XP64 on my laptop, I can tell you that the driver support on XP64 absolutely sucks. There are hardly any drivers, and good luck finding any for older/abnormal hardware.

    WOW64, if you're not familiar with the acronym, means windows on windows 64. It's basically their "emulator" (it's more of an interpreter) to run code not compiled for 64 bit. Instead of going the FreeBSD route and allowing for both
    • Re:WOW64 (Score:5, Informative)

      by turm (125406) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @09:35AM (#9830803) Homepage
      WOW64, if you're not familiar with the acronym, means windows on windows 64. It's basically their "emulator" (it's more of an interpreter) to run code not compiled for 64 bit. Instead of going the FreeBSD route and allowing for both 32 and 64 bit programs to run at the same time (props for freebsd), Microsoft decided to go with an emulator - which happens to suck horribly, and freeze alot.

      Lies.

      Windows and FreeBSD both do exactly the same thing, which is to let 32-bit programs run at full-speed, natively, on the cpu. Practically the whole point of AMD64 architecture is backwards compatibility. The world didn't need another Itanium.

      WOW64 Implementation Details [microsoft.com]

    • Having played with the beta of XP64 on my laptop

      I wouldn't consider the current public beta a fair look at WinXP64 at all, considering that it's nearly a year old. Microsoft didn't even have theming(the stuff that makes WinXP look like WinXP) in at the time, let alone have things optimized or have a decent collection of drivers. Things have supposedly changed a lot in that last year, and the devs have said that they're trying to get a new public beta released to show that.
  • One person? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bingo Foo (179380) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @09:10AM (#9830530)
    At least one person at Intel says they did not ask Microsoft to delay the release.

    I'm sure that at least one person at Intel did not ask Microsoft to delay the release. It would be kind of weird if all 80,000 employees asked. I'm sure it was no more than 50,000 of them who did.

  • by peter303 (12292) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @09:14AM (#9830565)
    They've long known all the hidden 32-bit bottlenecks in their OS and dealt with them. So I suspect, Sun's shipping date is mainly a matter of testing and verification.
  • Not to defend Microsoft, but I'm wondering if this isn't actually a wise move. If Intel hasn't released a 64-bit platform for the home user, would it not make more sense for MS to continue development until the market is fully ready for the operating system?

    As an AMD supporter, I'd rather them make it available sooner so that AMD might be able to leverage their lead in the 64-bit field. But from Microsoft's perspective? This might be the best move.

    (of course, all of this ignores that they're usually c

  • Lack of drivers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chiph (523845) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @09:31AM (#9830759)
    My guess is that they're delaying the release in order to get the manufacturers to release more x86-64 drivers. Microsoft has always understood this to be important for their success (unlike OS/2).

    Whenever I shop for new hardware, I look at the drivers first -- having good drivers is more important than the hardware itself.

    Chip H.
  • The BSD's support 64-bit chips too.
  • I know that technical discussions on Slashdot are becoming pretty rare nowdays, but does anyone have any details as to exactly why MS are having so many problems with Win64 ?

    For example, does their really weird size conventions (with 64-bit pointers but 32-bit long) cause more porting problems than it solves?

    Has anyone here tried porting a program to Win64?

    • Yes (Score:4, Informative)

      by Groo Wanderer (180806) <charlie.semiaccurate@com> on Thursday July 29, 2004 @10:42AM (#9831457) Homepage
      Most of the problems are SP2 related. MS decided to base Win iAMD64 off of XP SP2, and SP2 is having 'issues'. From what I hear, they are pulling people in to get it out the door, and those people are mainly coming from Longhorn.

      They are taking security seriously, but they are realizing exactly how impossible it is to do what they announced, IE lock things down. The deeper they dig, the more problems they find. The more they find, the more people they pull in.

      People tell me that it is a quagmire of monumental proportions. Golly, who would have guessed.

      -Charlie

      (I write for the Inq, and I talk to people, this is more than idle speculation)

      • I write for the Inq, and I talk to people, this is more than idle speculation

        Here's our big dilemma: We're looking at making a big investment in new AMD x86-64 hardware, especially the new line of 940-socket motherboards from Tyan.

        Compare e.g. the S2880-S2885 line (http://www.tyan.com/products/html/matrix.html [tyan.com]) - I don't think we'll be able to afford the S4880 range.

        So here's my question: If we invest in this hardware, what do you think the chances will be that, when Win64 finally starts to appear ne

  • MS Still 16 bit? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by scorp1us (235526) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @09:47AM (#9830927) Journal
    We all know that 10% of Windows 3.1 was 32 bit (with Win32s installed) Windows 95 make it 50%, so where does that leave NT-XP? I'm sure these things have 16 bit code still in them. It maybe down to 1%, but it isn't all gone is it?

    (We don't have to count code for 16 bit compatibility)

    Linux and OS2 were the only entirely 32-bit maintstream PC OS from the start.
    • Do you know that 84.7% of all statistics are made up?

      Seriously, Windows NT has been 32bit since the very begining, only WOW (Windows on Windows, the subsystem that provides Win16 compatibility) contains some 16bit code.
    • Actually, what "We all know" is completely wrong.

      Win32s, for example was a porting layer to run a subset (hence the s) of the Win32 32-bit APIs on Win16 Operating Systems. (0% 32-bit by definition)

      Windows 95 was a 32-bit OS with 16-bit loadable sections for backward compatibility. If you didn't run 16-bit drivers or apps, you didn't have 16-bit.

      The Windows NT family (Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003) were written from the start as 32-bit/64-bit hybrids with their architecture at


  • - FreeBSD also has a decent AMD64 port
    - "of course it runs NetBSD (tm)"
    - OpenBSD too lists it as supported target
    - DragonFly BSD has it in the works (they wanted to release 1.0 first)

    From these I daily use FreeBSD on a dual Opteron box, and it works fast and stable. I have no experience with the others.
  • by dfghjk (711126) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @10:01AM (#9831050)
    Curious that no one mentions the stability of current x86-64 Linux implementations. I'm running one (SuSE 9.1) and it's very disappointing. Binary software doesn't recognize the processor type and browser plugins don't work. 32 bit browsers would fix that but they are unstable for me. In fact, firefox in any form locks my machine consistently. I certainly wouldn't use the machine for any critical work though most things seem fine.

    Any user of a 64 bit x86 system should expect all 32 bit applications for that system to "just work". That's certainly not the case for linux and I expect Microsoft has a much higher standard in that regard.
    • Any user of a 64 bit x86 system should expect all 32 bit applications for that system to "just work".

      I smell a troll. If you actually spend any time setting up an AMD-64 with linux you know that it is all still very experimental (and this is clearly told on user forums). Basically it is only for people who really know what they are doing. If anyone told you it was plug and play then go kick them.

      As for stability, I have setup up three opteron servers with gentoo (none of that binary crap for me thank you

      • by mcbevin (450303)
        You call your parent a troll, yet totally confirm what he says - that 64-bit Linux is still basically beta, and that if Microsoft is also at the same stage as Linux in this regard it is fully justified in delaying the release of 64-bit XP, as it would obviously not be a 'good thing' to release beta-stage software as as a final product.
  • I just bought one of the spiffy AMD64 CPUs. Should I download/get CD for the public beta? I usually use the windows partition for games and my girlfriend use it for office and math programs.

    Does anyone have any experience?

  • 64 bit hasn't got any kind of widespread uptake yet, theres a 64 bit OS on the way and MS have to support stuff they release...

  • I wrote the piece linked in the main article as:
    "At least one person at Intel says they did not ask Microsoft to delay the release"
    It suggests that only Intel people told me that it wasn't them. That is not exactly what I would call persuasive evidence. In fact it was AMD people who told me flat out that Intel had nothing to do with it. I then asked Intel, and they said 'yup, we a innocent'. MS also said it wasn't Intel.

    Now, if Intel WAS behind it, AMD would have told me, and the other two would have denied it. That didn't happen.

    -Charlie
  • "The delays are quality driven," a Microsoft statement said. The company needs more time for tuning and testing "in order to meet the high quality requirements of our customers."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

    But seriously.. this could be a good thing.
  • Misleading Title (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cynic783 (750726) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @12:46PM (#9832935)
    64-bit Windows has been available for Itanium 64-bit for quite some time. The fact that it is not available for AMD's 32/64-bit hybrid is another story.

    And lost in this discussion is whether the x86 architecture is actually good for consumers in the long run? It's got tons of exceptions, has an asymmetric instruction set, and is really outdated.

    It's time to break the compatibility chain to allow forward progress. Kind of like depending on BIOS, ISA architecture, etc.

    I'm so tired of M$ portrayed on Slashdot as a comic-book villain, often without substantial discussion of the issues.

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