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Windows Operating Systems Software Upgrades Technology

Windows XP X64 Goes Gold 359

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the running-native dept.
Kasracer writes "According to The Inquirer, 'Microsoft has released the final version of Windows XP 64 to manufacturing, meaning that those with machines that have 64-32 bit processors in from AMD and latterly Intel can now see what the extra addressing brings to the party.'"
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Windows XP X64 Goes Gold

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:32AM (#12119589)
    ...why are they so afraid of pyrites?
  • by airjrdn (681898) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:33AM (#12119591) Homepage
    Anyone aware of a list of Windows software (perhaps on MS's site) that'll benefit from it?
    • Probably mostly Windows itself but that's where it needs the most help.

      I assume Adobe has a 64 bit vers. of Photoshop; not sure if they will port it.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:45AM (#12119648)
      "Anyone aware of a list of Windows software (perhaps on MS's site) that'll benefit from it?"

      Solitaire.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      LightWave 3D, by NewTek.
    • by ergo98 (9391) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:15AM (#12119760) Homepage Journal
      With the .NET Framework as "64-bit native", all .NET apps will immediately benefit, and the JIT compiler can take advantage of all of the goodness of x64.

      In the binary world, an upcoming version of SQL Server 2005 x86 is promised.
      • by ergo98 (9391) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:20AM (#12119785) Homepage Journal
        I should note that the 64-bit .NET Framework isn't actually out yet: I don't believe it was delivered with the 64-bit XP. That was more of a "future focused" comment about an upcoming variant of the .NET Framework 2.0 that will be 64-bit.
        • by gr3kgr33n (824960) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @01:14PM (#12120279) Homepage Journal
          as a person currently running XP-64 Beta, Here are the gripes I have: Drivers must be 64-bit == Most Drivers 'cept nVidia and a select few others are 32 .Net Framework 64 is "out" With the lack of driver support, running XP-64 is a hit or miss operation currently. Luckly my board has most things onboard and gigabyte was kind enough to give me 32-bit versions of all my drivers. Thank you gigabyte for giving me 32 bit drivers with a 64 bit board, shure these guys don't work for microsoft?
          • by truesaer (135079) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @03:46PM (#12120987) Homepage
            Here are the gripes I have: Drivers must be 64-bit == Most Drivers 'cept nVidia and a select few others are 32 .Net Framework 64 is "out" With the lack of driver support, running XP-64 is a hit or miss operation currently.


            FYI, 64-bit drivers are required when running in 64-bit long mode on the processor. So it isn't an artificial limitation of Windows 64, but rather a requirement imposed by the processor.

            For those who aren't real familiar with AMD64 architecture, it works basically like this: The processor starts in real mode, and at some point the operating system sets up the necessary mechanisms to support protection, paging, interrupts, etc. At the point it switches the processor into protected mode which is where all modern operating system and code run. There is also a virtual 8086 mode to run native DOS type applications, which is where the run dialog in windows executes. These three modes are known collectively as legacy mode.

            From protected mode if you want to run 64-bit code you need to switch into long mode, which is a collective name for 64-bit mode and compatibility mode. 64-bit mode is a pure 64-bit environment. The operating system must run in this mode, and all drivers must be 64-bit. I believe this is because interrupts automatically switch the processor into 64-bit mode. On a code segment by code segment basis you can also run in compatibility mode, which allows 32-bit code to be run in long mode. That is how all the current 32-bit apps will be able to run even in long mode. so from protected mode the OS must switch into compatibility mode, then into 64-bit mode to run 64-bit code. Once in compatibility mode any interrupt will force a switch to 64-bit mode, which is why drivers need to be 64-bit.


            Its also worth noting that switching from 64-bit mode to compatibility mode and back has been designed to have no performance penalty.

      • by DarkEdgeX (212110) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @01:06PM (#12120244) Journal
        No, wrong. Current .NET apps will run in the context of the 32-bit .NET runtime, meaning they won't benefit from the larger address space or the eight additional general purpose registers. In order to run in the context of the 64-bit .NET runtime the header of the executable needs to contain specific flags.

        Also, .NET apps which thunk to external 32-bit DLL's for added functionality won't work with the 64-bit .NET runtime (e.g. - if you call out to kernel32.dll or any of the standard Win32 DLL's your code will, of course, not work with 64-bit DLL's).
    • Don't programs need to be coded (compiled at least) specifically for x86-64 to use 64bit features?
    • A question I've wondered, is there any benifits to using a 32bit OS on a 64bit proc vs. 32bit on 32bit? If the answer is no, why has AMD seemed to discontinue it's 32bit proc? And the Sempron does not count, I'm not talking their discount line, I mean their real CPUs.
  • Is it the season? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hephaestus (70110) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:33AM (#12119592)
    It seems to be the season for OS updates, doesn't it? :-)
    • Re:Is it the season? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Slack3r78 (596506)
      Seriously, I'm going to be busy the next few weeks. Windows XP 64, OS 10.4 Tiger, and Ubuntu 5.04 all within a few weeks of each other. It's just about geek overload. :-)
  • Longhorn (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daxx_61 (828017) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:34AM (#12119595) Homepage
    What I don't understand is why they didn't just pump the money and development time for 64 into Longhorn. Surely that would have brought down development times, and we could have it sooner?
    • Re:Longhorn (Score:4, Informative)

      by caston (711568) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:36AM (#12119611)
      Because 64 bit Linux has been around for a long time now and its making MS look very very outdated. This shows they are scrambleing to keep up now.

    • Re:Longhorn (Score:5, Insightful)

      by netrage_is_bad (734782) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:46AM (#12119652)
      It for the Money. If everyone with a 64bit processor buys an essentially recompiled version of XP, and then buys longhorn when it comes out (whenever that is) they have successfully sold one more product than they would have.
      • Re:Longhorn (Score:5, Informative)

        by MoonFog (586818) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:59AM (#12119694)
        The XP version if available for free download and if you're talking about bundling XP-64 with pre-built computers, they would most likely come with Windows XP either way. I think it's more about the fear of losing customers rather than trying to trick people to buy two OS'. Besides, if MS where to go another full year without an OS with full 64 bit support, it could be bad for business.
        I agree to with you to a certain degree, I just think you're maybe a little too paranoid.
      • It is not a recompiled version of XP. It is a recompiled version of windows 2003 in 64bits. It's called XP but it's different under the hood
    • Longhorn (hopefully) has more than just 64-bit support. They are working on all of them. And they don't want their existing version of XP completely 64-bitless until Longhorn came out. 64-bit (x86-64) is catching up fast and if they don't release something fast, people might start switching to other OSes (like Linux). BTW, there was a 64-bit alpha of Longhorn, so it's not like they haven't started work on it at all.
    • Re:Longhorn (Score:3, Informative)

      by dubbreak (623656)
      Surely that would have brought down development times, and we could have it sooner?

      Obviously you haven't read The mythical Man Month [amazon.com].

      Of course if you aren't a software engineer or you are a "pointy haired boss" [wikipedia.org] then I'm not surprised you haven't read it and think throwing extra money and people at a project will make it faster.
  • by Spawn of CowboyNeal (860674) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:34AM (#12119596)
    Ganymede's report on the CRAPPIEST 64-bit operating systems in the World

    1: Windows XP X64

    that is all.
  • 4/1 (Score:4, Funny)

    by Primal_theory (859040) <Nick.pannuto@gmail.com> on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:35AM (#12119602) Journal
    Ok, is it still april fool's day somewhere?
  • And ... (Score:4, Funny)

    by canwaf (240401) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:36AM (#12119606) Homepage Journal
    Bring on the 64 bit Viruses!
  • Heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by strider44 (650833) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:36AM (#12119607)
    we can now say "finally Windows has caught up with Linux".

    Cue the candid laughter everyone.
    • by DaHat (247651)
      Really? Microsoft has had 64-bit editions of Windows for years, remember Itanium? Remember Alpha?
      • Re:Heh (Score:2, Informative)

        by alman (86957)
        NT For Alpha wasn't really 64 bit, it made high use of a 32-64bit emulator.
        • Re:Heh (Score:3, Informative)

          by DaHat (247651)
          I think you've got that backwards, NT4 for Alpha was pure 64-bit, and DEC shipped an (32-bit) x86 emulator to help existing applications be able to run.
          • Re:Heh (Score:5, Informative)

            by Waffle Iron (339739) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:36AM (#12119860)
            NT4 for Alpha was pure 64-bit

            It's highly debatable whether you could call it "pure 64-bit". A description of the implementation from here [macintouch.com]:

            Also, the Windows NT implementation on the Alpha was not really true 64 bit, but used a less ambitious system called VLM to allow access to more memory than 32 bit system. Here's a quote from Microsoft about it:
            "As you can see, the VLM APIs don't constitute true 64-bit computing. Sure, you can allocate and use this memory if it's physically present, meaning that virtual memory doesn't work with these addresses. But 99.44 percent of the Win32 API can't work with addresses above 4GB, so it's just you and your 64-bit pointers. Think of it as frontier territory with no newspapers, running water, or phone lines."
            • Re:Heh (Score:4, Interesting)

              by fyngyrz (762201) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @01:38PM (#12120380) Homepage Journal
              Think of it as frontier territory with no newspapers, running water, or phone lines."

              I prefer to think of it as frontier territory without resource and memory leaks, buggy system calls, and insanely bloated, sourcecode-free "objects" that are larger than most applications used to be but provide unique and special capabilities like "buttons" and "checkmarks."

              But that's just me. :-) When I encounter something from Microsoft that is broken (like a file dialog ot the treeview control) then I write my own, make sure it works, fix it ASAP if and when anyone finds anything I missed... so memory where MS's OS fears to tread smells like freedom and clean air. There may not be any toilets, but then again, I don't have to have Microsoft's sewage running all over my applications.

              Real conversation from about 2002:

              CUSTOMER: Why, when I select more than 100 image files in the "load file" dialog, do the files come in in reverse order and missing any that were past about the 105th selected file?

              US: Yeah. Those are problems in Microsoft's file dialog. According to MS, the 100 file limit problem has been in there since Windows 95. The files in reverse order happens because you selected the first file first, and shift-selected the last file, last. You can select the last file first and the first file last, and they'll come out they way you want them. As long as there are under 100 or so names. But you can just download the latest revision of our application and that problem is gone. Along with Microsoft's file dialog.

              We gave them this [blackbeltsystems.com], instead.
              • Re:Heh (Score:3, Insightful)

                by pilkul (667659)
                You really sound like you have an axe to grind against Microsoft. You do realize that Microsoft consists of hundreds of teams of developers of differing abilities, many of them bought out from smaller companies like yours? There are examples of poor MS software (Windows ME) as well as examples of solid, best-of-breed MS software (Visual C++). It's bizarre to leap from a bug in a file manager dialog to assuming that core memory management code is also bad.

                You make me think of Phil Katz, the former boss

          • You imply that this release has something to do with NT for Alpha. I doubt that it does. Linux was able to go 64 bit on many platforms comparatively easily but it took MS years. They probably had to redo very nearly the whole thing. So I think in this case it is probably quite fair to say MS finally caught up with Linux.
    • "finally Windows has caught up with Linux"

      Sorry i wasn't informed. When did this outstanding event happen.

      </sarcasm>
  • by zbeeble (808759) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:36AM (#12119609)
    Yesterday's stories where more convincing.
    • Re:April Fool ? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by js3 (319268)
      They were? I pity the fool. A good april fools is not only hard to spot but funny as well, I can't say that happened yesterday.
  • by Laurance (872708) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:40AM (#12119624) Homepage
    Now only a few more years and we might have 64 bit applications
    • by Inoshiro (71693) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @02:11PM (#12120493) Homepage
      Grab a 64-bit Linux distribution. Yet another benefit of opensource is that people can freely recompile to 64-bit. I'm running 64-bit KDE 3.4.0 on my 64-bit Linux 2.6.11 on my Opteron 3000+. It runs WoW under 32-bit Cedega nicely as well (in addition to Starcraft/Diablo, etc). No need to chain yourself to a legacy OS for a few applications you can easily run in Linux :)

      I run Slamd64 [slamd64.com], the x86-64 Slackware.
  • can now? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:43AM (#12119641)
    that those with machines that have 64-32 bit processors in from AMD and latterly Intel

    (1) The opteron is a true 64-bit architecture. The em64t (intel thing) is a bit of a bodge (still basically a xeon core, with shades of 32-bit-ness in odd places like memory mapping for devices), but still appears 64 bit.

    (2) Linux people have been running x86-64 Linux for _ages_ now. It's a cheap and cheerful server platform without some of the worst cruddiness of x86, and a cheap, extremely cost effective, and generally excellent scientific workstation and compute cluster platform, and is selling like wild here (euro) anyway.

    • Re:can now? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by northcat (827059)
      EMT64T and AMD64 are the same thing (technically at least). Collectively they're called x86-64.
      • nope (Score:3, Interesting)

        by flithm (756019)
        You've got it backwards... they're the same thing functionally. Technically they're completely different.
  • by pla (258480) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:43AM (#12119643) Journal
    meaning that those with machines that have 64-32 bit processors in from AMD and latterly Intel can now see what the extra addressing brings to the party.

    ...Unless you want to run hardware not built into a mainstream motherboard with support included in XP.

    ...Unless you want to run software using a legacy 16-bit installer (far more common than you might expect, even for programs that don't have a drop of 16-bit code themselves).

    XP for x64 has NO 32-bit hardware driver support. Very very few manufacturers have x64 drivers available yet. Thus, don't feel surprised when you literally can't use any of your fancy toys. On the bright side, NVidia does have beta 64-bit drivers available, so you might luck out. Of course, considering the stability of final-release NVidia drivers, do you really want to use a beta?

    XP x64 has also completely dropped 16bit support. No more old DOS programs. No more Win3.1 programs. More importantly (as I mentioned above), no more installers that used 16 bit code, even for purely 32-bit programs.

    I too look forward to running XP x64 on my Athlon64. But for the moment, the average Joe just doesn't have that as a realistic option. In another six months, perhaps. But not yet.
    • XP x64 has also completely dropped 16bit support. No more old DOS programs. No more Win3.1 programs. More importantly (as I mentioned above), no more installers that used 16 bit code, even for purely 32-bit programs.

      Ditto, there's still a lot of those out there. I would expect Microsoft to drop atleast a 16-bit VM of some sort - specially for a desktop oriented OS.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:55AM (#12119679)

      XP x64 has also completely dropped 16bit support. No more old DOS programs. No more Win3.1 programs. More importantly (as I mentioned above), no more installers that used 16 bit code, even for purely 32-bit programs.

      I say good riddence.

      I too look forward to running XP x64 on my Athlon64. But for the moment, the average Joe just doesn't have that as a realistic option. In another six months, perhaps. But not yet.

      Your average Joe probably isn't using a 64 bit x86 chip either.

      The transition has to start sometime. If not now, when?
    • I say it's something to be excited about! No 16bit drivers, no 16bit applications, what more could you ask for :)

      XP64 will not run on 32bit hardware. So if Average joe is still on his tiny duron this OS is not for him anyways. For us who have the 64bit hardware it is nice to have an OS that use all of its features.
  • by AGTiny (104967) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:46AM (#12119651)
    I run XP on an AMD64 laptop. Would I gain anything by upgrading to this or not?
  • by farrellj (563) * on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:49AM (#12119664) Homepage Journal
    Wow, another Microsoft public Beta!

    Great, the people who sold me the Gigabyte AMD64 motherboard will possibly admit there is a 64 bit operating system now...I had a Gigabyte motherboard that as soon as it got out of the bootloader and went 64 Bit, it would reboot! I should have stuck to ASUS originally.

    I swapped out the Gigbyte MB, put in an ASUS...same CPU, Memory, everything and I pass the 64 bit transition, and away I went to load 64Bit Linux! Cool.

    ttyl
    Farrell
  • by carlmenezes (204187) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:57AM (#12119685) Homepage
    MS Gold can actually rust
  • by turgid (580780) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:59AM (#12119689) Journal
    Microsoft was well aware of the old saying, "You can't polish a turd," so not to be defeated, they gold-plated it instead.

    /me ducks.

  • "Can now see" (Score:4, Informative)

    by m50d (797211) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @10:59AM (#12119690) Homepage Journal
    Or they could have used SUSE and have seen what it does, what, 5 months ago?
  • by Illserve (56215) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:03AM (#12119709)
    As processor speed, memory and disk space continue to spiral to ever larger values, Microsoft is really going to be put to task in finding ways to make Windows sluggish.

    Their task is made more difficult by advances in compiler design which find an eliminate trivial solutions that simply chew up CPU time by computing huging cosine tables and then overwriting them.

    New innovation may come from recent advances in polling network devices unnecessarily and hanging various threads until a reply is received. In the case of pulling a device off the network that Windows Explorer had browsed in the last 15 weeks, a given thread can hang for minutes, chewing up processor time in loops that scan network traffic.

    The Windows Development team seems optimistic that they can produce the same crippled user interface on new 64 bit architectures that customers have become familiar with, a valuable marketing strategy in teaching consumers to become suspicious of computers with more responsive interfaces.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:08AM (#12119730)
    The advantages of the AMD-64 archetecture go far beyond the additional address space. The number of general purpose registers is doubled (and, of course made 64 bits wide). This is far more important than the increased address space and, for most code more important than being 64 versus 32 bit.

    Translation: If you've never heard of a register, what this means is that there are twice as many internal storage locations in the processor. moving data between internal registers suffers from no delay, while accesses to memory (ram) is slow and processing cycles can be lost to wait states - basically the processor must pause and wait for the memory access to get done.

    This is why most code when recompiled for the new architecture will see an immediate performance improvement. Some code will see gains from the 64 bit width of these registers - but not as much. Virtually no one will see a benefit from being able to use more than 4gb of ram.
    • by argent (18001)
      The advantages of the AMD-64 archetecture go far beyond the additional address space.

      I would absolutely say that the biggest advantage has nothing to do with the address space. The biggest advantage tha Alpha gave us, for the decade where it maintained its performance lead despite benign and not-so-benign neglect, wasn't the larger address space (there were only a few people who actually needed 64 bits), but the huge register bank and celever instruction set (especially the memory barrier instructions, wh
  • by Pensacola Tiger (538962) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:17AM (#12119770)
    Just like Microsoft - one day too late.
  • Coincidence (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@NOsPam.hotmail.com> on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:28AM (#12119823) Journal
    Maybe it's my tinfoil hat speaking, but isn't it strange that Microsoft release a 64bit OS just a few weeks after Intel releases their 64bit x86 cpu http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/ 22/0235246&tid=118&tid=137 [slashdot.org] even though AMD have had their processor out for more than eighteen months?
  • There's been a rumour that owners (oops... licensees) of XP Pro will get a free upgrade to the 64-bit version.

    Anyone know if this will happen?

    (I'm keenly interested in this, since I own XP Pro and would like to see my video capture card stop working for lack of an XP-64 driver. Thank goodness for Linux support.)
  • by Grey Ninja (739021) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:42AM (#12119879) Homepage Journal
    I know the article says it just went gold, but I know damn well that there's some people here who've tried it. I am just curious... how useable is it?

    I tried 64 bit Ubuntu briefly, but I went back to 32 bit after failing to acquire such things as my favorite XMMS plugins (which I never could get compiled and working properly, even in 32 bit, so was forced to get binaries), and 32codecs, and of course, browser plugins.

    I would imagine that the video codecs work a lot better in Windows XP, but I would imagine that it would be much similar to Linux in that I would have to run in 32 bit mode in order to actually use most stuff.

    I am aware that there's a way of running a 32 bit mode in Linux as well... but it seemed far too complex to actually go through with, and I am too much of a newbie to actually get it working properly.
  • The Horse's Mouth (Score:5, Informative)

    by PizzaFace (593587) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:52AM (#12119917)
    Microsoft has a website for Windows XP Professional x64 Edition [microsoft.com]. The site has a pseudo-technical overview [microsoft.com] of the product, and more detailed information [microsoft.com] for developers.
  • by InvalidError (771317) on Saturday April 02, 2005 @11:56AM (#12119940)
    I find it somewhat irritating that Intel is promoting only the addressing part of x86-64's benefits.

    Extended addressing might sound nice but in the real world, it translates to no performance improvement unless you have >4GB in your PC while gains from recompiling to use the extra registers (and some rewriting to combine high/low parts into int64s, reducing initial register usage) are often in the 20%-40% range - though this can vary wildly depending on GCC options and across GCC versions.

    Well, it is all marketing so Intel's EMT64 campaign does not need to make any technical sense as long as it sells.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2005 @01:13PM (#12120276)
    Windows XP X64 went gold on March 31 and we see it on /. two days later?
    Tiger went gold on April 1 and no time was wasted in posting that news.
    Both are closed source operating systems.
    Explain.

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