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Microsoft to Launch 64-bit Windows on Monday 484

Posted by Zonk
from the mmmmm-terabytes dept.
maotx writes "Several news outlets are reporting that Microsoft will officially roll out 64-bit versions of its Windows operating systems on Monday. As compared with existing 32-bit versions: 64-bit Windows will handle 16 terabytes of virtual memory, as compared to 4 GB for 32-bit Windows. System cache size jumps from 1 GB to 1 TB, and paging-file size increases from 16 TB to 512 TB."
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Microsoft to Launch 64-bit Windows on Monday

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  • by Aruthra (826467) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:31AM (#12328472)
    640k ought to be enough for anybody.
    • I think Mr Gates was misquoted .He was at the time talking about the expected Critical vunerabilities in Windows XP
    • Foreigners (Score:5, Funny)

      by turgid (580780) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @10:35AM (#12328792) Journal
      Nowadays I think it's more like, "Three user-land tasks should be enough for poor foreigners."
    • What to do with the new, seemingly-incredible increase in computer power is always the second question asked when Moore's law makes a new level of technology possible. The first question is always "How do we get it work?".
      So let's look back at the unexpected developments with previous jumps in microprocessor power:

      1973 - 1976 -- 4040 - CPU chips enter geek consciousness. Public discovers interactive television as 'PONG'. A cubic foot of TTL chips on PCBs replaced by a handful of programmable
  • Paging file (Score:4, Funny)

    by mrcrowbar (821370) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:32AM (#12328475)
    paging-file size increases from 16 TB to 512 TB
    So, this means that MS Windows now requires a 16 to 512 TB paging-file? ;)
    • Re:Paging file (Score:3, Insightful)

      by toddbu (748790)
      There are a million follow up jokes to this one, but the sad fact is that anyone would engineer a system where this is either possible or necessary. I had a long discussion with a Windows tester one day about code bloat in Windows and he argued that it wasn't a problem because "we got lots of virtual memory and stuff just gets paged out". I'd like to think that this is an isolated case, but when you look at Windows XP and see all the running services that are installed by default then it appears that he's
  • Paging size (Score:4, Funny)

    by Amiga Lover (708890) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:33AM (#12328479)
    > paging-file size increases from 16 TB to 512 TB

    Hope that's a maximum, not required :)
  • by screwthemoderators (590476) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:33AM (#12328483) Journal
    It still has Solitaire, right?
  • by yotto (590067) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:35AM (#12328489) Homepage
    64-bit Windows will handle 16 terabytes of virtual memory, as compared to 4 GB for 32-bit Windows.
    16 terabytes! That oughta be enough for anybody!
  • by Shag (3737) * on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:35AM (#12328490) Homepage
    Just wondering. Obviously Solaris, IRIX, Linux, AIX, Mac OS X and whatever other UNIX flavors are out there (well, except for maybe SCO...) have had 64-bit support for some number of years now.

    Is Windows the last major commercial OS to add 64-bit support, or are there others I'm missing?

    (Even if it is the last one, I'm sure Microsoft will tout this as supremely innovative. :)
  • Finally!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Almond Paste (838493) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:36AM (#12328496)
    They have caught up with Ninendo64!
  • seems nice, fast, haven't had any BSOD. The only problem, not many 32 bit apps run for me. You MUST run IE, WMP, etc. Windows 64 [microsoft.com]
    • by essdodson (466448) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:48AM (#12328561) Homepage
      I've not come across a single app that won't run. What sort of apps are you finding problems with? Which build are you running?
      • I'm not the original poster, but I'm running XP x64 RC2 and have had problems with Nero (asks for enterprise key just to run, then it works fine), printer drivers for Canon IP2000 (although driver problems are expected, and the built in BJC-8000 drivers work fine for printing, have to hook it up to 32-bit Windows machine to do head cleaning etc), ZoneAlarm doesn't install (although Tiny has a 64-bit Windows firewall available now), a few motherboard utils for my A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard won't run (but 64
        • by NetNifty (796376) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @10:33AM (#12328780) Homepage
          Ignore other post without paragraphs.

          I'm not the original poster, but I'm running XP x64 RC2 and have had problems with Nero (asks for enterprise key just to run, then it works fine), printer drivers for Canon IP2000 (although driver problems are expected, and the built in BJC-8000 drivers work fine for printing, have to hook it up to 32-bit Windows machine to do head cleaning etc), ZoneAlarm doesn't install (although Tiny has a 64-bit Windows firewall available now), a few motherboard utils for my A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard won't run (but 64 bit versions seem to be appearing), Doom 3 and some other software complains when installing - but editing the MSI file, or running in Windows XP compatiblity mode to get around this usually lets it install and run fine. Had a problem with GetRight crashing so switched to Free Download Manager (shared internet connection so really need the speed capping), haven't tried any BitTorrent apps (hacked together an app which passes torrents to my laptop) but presumably will have same problem as 32-bit SP2 - initialising socket caps.

          Apart from my printer, all my hardware works fine (A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard, NVIDIA 6600GT PCI-Express graphics card, 1GB Crucial PC4000 RAM, 200GB Maxtor Diamondmax 10 SATA HD, 120GB Maxtor Diamondmax 9 ATA133 HD, NFORCE4 onboard sound, NEC ND-3500 DVD burner, and some other generic 8x DVD reader), although it can be a big sluggish when copying large files from/to HD I think that's down to drivers rather than anything else.

          Using Firefox 1.0.3 for browsing, Media Player Classic 6.4.8.2 for video, Winamp 5 for music and never had any problems with them, so don't know what poster above is talking about unless is using a very early build (used 1218 previously and only had same issues as I do now - only difference I noticed was upgraded Windows apps - IE got SP2'd with popup blocker, Solitair is 64-bit etc).
    • No you don't.
      I have been running the final release downloaded from MSDN for a couple of weeks and I'm using Firefox 1.0.3 to post this, while I listen to mp3s on Winamp and talking to my mates using Teamspeak.

      I maintain a list of programs which do and don't work here:
      http://www.cableforum.co.uk/board/article.php?a=64 [cableforum.co.uk]
  • Cool! (Score:5, Funny)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:46AM (#12328547)
    MS: "We finally have a 64-Bit version of Windows. Page file and virtual memory sizes have increased substantially. In recognition of this, all native Windows apps and all new releases of Office, Visual Studio .Net, and other core Microsoft products will be quickly bloated to take full advantage of these new sizes!"
  • Third party apps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lavaforge (245529) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:46AM (#12328548)
    I've been messing around with Ubuntu for x86-64 lately and while it is pretty snappy, I miss things a lot of the little things (like the flash plugin) that were never compiled for a 64 bit system.

    Is Microsoft going to have a similar problem, in that it has a nice OS, but few apps to run on it?


    • Is Microsoft going to have a similar problem, in that it has a nice OS, but few apps to run on it?


      You know, I was expecting application support to be poor for a while, but as it turns out, XP64 seems to have as much if not more currently available software than NT 3.51 for PowerPC.

      And here I was thinking that I was going to be running the worst-supported Windows platform out there. Heck no. Second worst for me.
    • Is Microsoft going to have a similar problem, in that it has a nice OS, but few apps to run on it?

      I think the idea behind AMD's x64 platform is that you don't have to recompile for it. 32 bit appllications should run on x64 the same as they do on 32 bit versions of XP.

      This also has a lot to do with why Itanium didn't sell. It required new software top to bottom.
    • Re:Third party apps (Score:4, Informative)

      by jdmuir (207188) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @11:35AM (#12329115)
      • I miss things a lot of the little things (like the flash plugin) that were never compiled for a 64 bit system.

      Run the 32-bit version of Firefox all of your plugins will start working again.

    • Re:Third party apps (Score:3, Informative)

      by turgid (580780)
      This is a short-comming of the design of 64-bit debian systems. The way Solaris does it is to have 32-bit and 64-bit user-land libraries and utilities side-by-side so that you can run 32-bit and 64-bit binaries on the same 64-bit system at the same time. The debian people chose to break backwards compatibility when they went to 64-bit. I suppose from debian's ideological point of view "everyone should be using Free software and compiling from source" so it doesn't matter. However, in the real world, it does
  • by ardor (673957) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:48AM (#12328557)
    Do they release it because It Just Works? [slashdot.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    64-bit Windows will handle 16 terabytes of virtual memory, as compared to 4 GB for 32-bit Windows.


    It means we will be able to run "bloatware" such as Emacs without it constantly swapping!

  • by cyberjessy (444290) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:50AM (#12328573) Homepage
    The submission is absolutely misleading.

    Windows Server 2003 has supported 64-bits (Enterprise Edition and Datacenter edition) since its launch on IA64(Itanium). Before that, they also had 64-bit versions of Windows 2000 Server.

    Windows XP Professional also had a 64-bit version since 2003, again running on the Itanium. However, XP on Itanium was discontinued as no one was using it outside MS testing labs.

    Whats gonna be launched are x64 editions of XP and 2003 Server.
    • The submission is absolutely misleading. Windows Server 2003 has supported 64-bits (Enterprise Edition and Datacenter edition) since its launch on IA64(Itanium).

      I think they meant "64-bit WinXP on hardware more than 3 people actually paid for."

      Whatever. Nice to see Microsoft start to catch up with Linux. I've been running 64-bit Fedora Core for over a year now.
    • A researcher outside MS had Windows for Itanium and made an exploit for it. If for nothing else, it shows that a Microsoft product that *nobody* really uses has easy to find exploits, that it has nothing to do with market share, profile or popularity.
  • what, only 16TB? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Vladimir (98464) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @09:54AM (#12328589)
    With kernel 2.6.11 I had no problem malloc()'ing 2^47 bytes (128TB) ! Memory overcommitting is on, of course. While it seems like an unneeded feature now, remember that W$ limitation means you cannot mmap() stuff >16TB, and this will be a painful limitation in a year or two (1TB IDE disks will soon be launched, I heard).

    In addition, I was _really_ surprised to see that Intel's compiler still keeps "long" to 4 bytes on windows (didn't check, but so says their doc). With NO standard integer type for 64 bit, programming is set to be no fun on x86_64 under windows.
    • Re:what, only 16TB? (Score:2, Informative)

      by pmjordan (745016)
      Well, if you need an int of a particular size, you need to typedef yourself a compiler/platform specific one anyway; this has always been that way. I believe 'int' used to be 2 bytes on most 16-bit DOS compilers. If you're talking about pointer arithmetic and array indexing, you should have been using size_t for those uses all along.

      By the way, the GCC sizes for i386 and x86_64 are:
      int: 4 bytes, 4 bytes
      long: 4 bytes, 8 bytes
      long long: 8 bytes, 16 bytes
      size_t: 4 bytes, 8 bytes (I believe it's typedef'ed as
      • Re:what, only 16TB? (Score:5, Informative)

        by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenisNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday April 24, 2005 @11:10AM (#12328985) Homepage
        ... arrg I was gonna mod in this discussion... but ...

        "long long" is eight bytes on __x86_64__ platforms [e.g. AMD64 with GCC].

        long long is also C99 compatible and has been available in GCC and most unix cc's for a very long time.

        Tom
      • Re:what, only 16TB? (Score:5, Informative)

        by NearlyHeadless (110901) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @12:17PM (#12329425)
        Well, if you need an int of a particular size, you need to typedef yourself a compiler/platform specific one anyway; this has always been that way.
        For C99-compliant compilers (and gcc), there is <stdint.h> [opengroup.org] which defines:
        int{N}_t uint{N}_t
        int_least{N}_t uint_least{N}_t
        int_fast{N}_t uint_fast{N}_t
        intptr_t uintptr_t
        intmax_t uintmax_t
        INT{N}_MIN INT{N}_MAX UINT{N}_MAX
        INT_LEAST{N}_MIN INT_LEAST{N}_MAX
        UINT_LEAST{N}_MAX
        INT_FAST{N}_MIN INT_FAST{N}_MAX UINT_FAST{N}_MAX
        INTPTR_MIN INTPTR_MAX UINTPTR_MAX
        INTMAX_MIN INTMAX_MAX UINTMAX_MAX
        PTRDIFF_MIN PTRDIFF_MAX
        SIG_ATOMIC_MIN SIG_ATOMIC_MAX
        SIZE_MAX WCHAR_MIN WCHAR_MAX WINT_MIN WINT_MAX
        INT{N}_C(value) UINT{N}_C(value)
        INTMAX_C(value) UINTMAX_C(value)
        Where {N} can be 8, 16, 32, and, if supported, 64

        As somebody else noted, c99 also supports long long. Of course older compilers don't have stdint.h. I don't think Microsoft C does either, although I don't have the latest version.

  • So are they catching up to linux or far ahead? I found an announcement from april 12
    here (google cache as html) [66.102.7.104] about IBM's new linux based OpenPower series that can handle 64GB of memory, is ubuntu-64 or other distro already able to do what xp-64 can as far as the accessible memory/disk?

    Not that we'll ever need it (hah hah).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    To try and take away the thunder from Mac OS X "Tiger".
  • Will they bit 64bit too? Then we could use them for mplayer on pure 64bit Linux's which currently only supports dll loading on 32bit due to the fact that no 64bit dll is around. OR will Microsoft cheat and just provide 32bit versions of these which I think is more likely.
  • by nighty5 (615965) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @10:23AM (#12328729)
    Ballmer: we've been working hard to find more bits for some time now

    Press: so what exactly was found?

    Ballmer: well i'm not entirely sure, you see everyone has been raving about us lacking in the bits in our products

    Press: so what did you actually do about it?

    Ballmer: we simply acquired the bits we were missing from our product offerings, various high profile acquisitions were conducted to ensure all bits were accounted for

    Press: can you tell us preciously who was acquired ?

    Ballmer: that would be telling, however I can say that I don't have the slightest idea what all this means, our customers have just been saying "give us more bits!" - we firmly believe we've been innovating for 20 years to continuly improve our products to contain more bits, or features as you will.

    Press: Steve, I don't think you understand what you're talking about

    Ballmer: we firmly believe we've been innovating for 20 years to continuly improve our products to contain more bits, or features as you will.

    Press: you just said that, do you have anything more to add?

    Ballmer: we now have more bits than the rest of the software vendor industry!

    Press: yeah sure, you do..... {cut!}
  • ...if and how do they package the Media Player.

    Will they dear to offend the EU commisioner?

  • 64 bit OS would be nice in the Windows Arena for me.. I can happily run the 64bit Linux distros, but have been sitting around on Win2k for games playing...
    A large part of the reason I didn't get XP was the 'activation' after sizable hardware rebuilds (about a 12 month cycle for me, unless something breaks)..
    If it's on the 64 bit Windows release, I guess I won't be getting that either.
  • the security problems that have dogged them for years, the good press from "innovation" will be overshadowed by the latest exploit.

    64 bits will mean nothing to the small business owner who's data has been stolen by some kid in Romania.
  • Lots of memory, lots of horsepower, all lined up to do single-threaded synchronous i/o to a single point of contention, AKA the registry!

    Plus, it will swap everything out to disk even when there's terabyte of free RAM no matter how hard you plead with it not to!

    Seriously, when will Redmond stop eutrophycating and start engineering this platform, that once showed so much promise?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 24, 2005 @11:04AM (#12328961)
    Windows ia a:

    32-bit kludge running on top of a
    16-bit patch to an
    8-bit operating system written for a
    4-bit microprocessor by a
    2-bit company that can't stand
    1-bit of competition
  • The big reason for going to 64-bit Windows has nothing to do with the word size. The main reason is that AMD64 has shed another chunk of the 8086 instruction set legacy. The IA32 has 8 32-bit general purpose registers, about the same total register storage as the Cosmac 1802... a 4/8 bit microprocessor from the '70s. AMD64 gives you 16 64-bit registers, which is pretty small for a 64-bit machine (Alpha and Power have 32) but big enough to give the compiler room to work in, especially since it's also doubling the number of SSE registers.

    Here's some other computers for comparison:

    PDP-11, late '60s... 8 16-bit general purpose registers.
    VAX, '70s... 16 32-bit GPRs.
    68000, ~'80... 8 32-bit GPRs, 8 32-bit index registers.
    z8000, ~'80... 16 16-bit registers.
    8086, late '70s, 8 16-bit GPRs.
    MIPS, '80s, 32 32-bit registers.
    SPARC, ~'90... 32 32-bit GPRs, but only 8 were really usable as GPRs for the optimiser. Thus has hurt the Sparc's performance.
    Power PC, '90s, 32 32 or 64-bit GPRs
    Alpha, '90s, 32 64-bit registers

    I would say the 4x register-file space increase is going to be far more important than the larger virtual memory.
  • Pricing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TomHandy (578620) <tomhandy@gmail. c o m> on Sunday April 24, 2005 @11:43AM (#12329167)
    I have an Athlon 64 system I built, and I'm currently running regular Windows XP Home (which I had a license for from a previous computer, and didn't feel like buying XP Pro). One thing I haven't seen yet is what the costs will be of this x64 version of Windows XP. Will it be a free upgrade? If not, any idea on what it's going to cost? One reason I never tried out the pre-release version of x64 is that it seemed to require an XP Pro key, which I didn't have.
  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday April 24, 2005 @01:07PM (#12329792) Homepage Journal
    Sure for some special applications this might be good, but for the average Joe running his email and an occasional spreadsheet why does it matter? What we have now vastly exceedes 99% of users needs now.

    Except of course to help force people back into the upgrade cycle.

    "just beacuse" isnt a reason to do something.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by interstellar_donkey (200782) <pathighgate AT hotmail DOT com> on Sunday April 24, 2005 @02:12PM (#12330333) Homepage Journal
      Why?

      Because it's a logical step in the advancement of computers.

      I can remember a good 17 years ago debating with a "computer expert" about hard drives. He said that nobody would ever need anything bigger then a one megabyte HDD. I still think about that and smile.

      Back then, nobody could predict the way computers would shape our lives. Now, of course, we know.

      Small steps in the advancement of hardware and software typically don't revolutionize our use of computers, but putting them all together has a dramatic effect. So we've started a shift towards 64 bit. We've got the hardware, and now we're getting the software. Yes, at first it won't be a big deal to the end users, but that leap will ultimately give us more power and flexibility to do more advanced things.

      We've got a lot more we can do with computers, and not just with games. Parsing human speech into text, for example, is currently pretty bad. Being able to recognize features in an image is rudimentary at best. No, a 64 bit OS won't change that, but it will lead to a better hardware and software base to make it easier for developers to approach those goals.

      Moving to 64 bit is not being done "just because", it's being done as a step in the continued evolution of computing technology, which leads to better advances down the road.

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