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Microsoft To Dump 32-Bit After Vista 527

Posted by kdawson
from the at-least-it-fixes-Y2K38 dept.
SlinkySausage writes "Microsoft has used its annual hardware engineering conference to announce that Windows Vista and Server 2008 will be the last versions of Windows capable of booting on 32-bit CPUs such as Intel Pentium 4 and Core Duo. AMD, which introduced 64-bit CPUs early — much to the derision of Intel, which said there was no use for them at the time — must be delighted with Microsoft's decision. Owners of first-generation Intel Macs that used (32-bit only) Core Duo CPUs may not be so happy knowing that Vista will be the last Windows they will be able to run."
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Microsoft To Dump 32-Bit After Vista

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  • by catbutt (469582) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:18AM (#19162361)
    ....I assure you, I'll be alright.
    • by Spamalope (91802) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:20AM (#19162387)
      made today will be able to run the Microsoft replacement for Vista. Why worry?
      • by the time the successor to Vista comes out. I doubt very much anyone will care about it not running on ~20 billion-year-old hardware. Not even Mac users :-)
    • Until Apple also stops supporting 32-bit computing. The way I see it, the 64-bit PowerPC Macs will have a longer support span than the first generation Intel Macs because they're only 32-bit computers.
      • There was active 68k code in the classic MacOS right up to the end. The end was over 10 years after they produced the final 68k Mac. That doesn't mean the system would run on 68k, but it does mean that Apple isn't afraid to support legacy code.

        Similarly, if they want OS X to work on 32-bit CPU's for the next 5-10 years, it will. They'll support it. And given the fact that they're still selling 32-bit Core systems (the Mac Mini does not have the Core 2 yet), they'll support it for a long time to come. I'd gi
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gumbi west (610122)
      What, are you nuts? This means that in seven years you're computer won't be able to run a newer MS OS that's worse than Vista, but with MS games that lock out Vista. You'll be stuck with OS 10.8 with a dual boot to XP or Vista or any of a number of *nix OSs. A sad, sad computer it will be.

      Actually, what I thought was crazy is that Apple customers aren't the only ones using the Core processors, why single them out? Is Apple even the largest customer of Intel 32-bit processors?

    • by kestasjk (933987)
      Your PC will be unable to run a supported version of Mac OS X in 2 years, and will be unable to run the latest lot of software that requires the latest version of Mac OS X in 1 year, let alone the next version Windows in ~5 years.
      • I've got 10.4.9 running on a computer I bought in 2000, that makes it 7 years, not 2 for running the latest OS X. It is true though that there were 1998 computer that can not run OS X, and OS X was released in 2001--so that was a 3 year window. But at the time, 10.1 wasn't really ready for prime time, and OS 9 was still the main OS.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Nimey (114278)
          You don't have a first-gen PPC Mac unless it has a PowerPC 601 processor. *Maybe* a 603. Those would be from about 1994.
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday May 17, 2007 @12:06PM (#19163463) Homepage

      Yeah, I know. What's the deal with the OP?

      Owners of first-generation Intel Macs that used (32-bit only) Core Duo CPUs may not be so happy knowing that Vista will be the last Windows they will be able to run.

      This leads me to a few questions:

      • Of all the people using 32-bit processors, why single out Mac users? Mac users often don't even use Windows at all.
      • ... which leads me to a second question: Is this supposed to be sarcastic?
      • What makes you think Microsoft will stick to this?
      • What makes you think we won't all have new computers before Microsoft releases their successor to Vista?

      Microsoft is notorious for having high expectations and grand plans, taking too long to execute, and dropping most of their features, improvements, and changes before the end product is released.

  • let's hope that they can get the driver situation figured out by then.
    • by brunascle (994197)
      exactly why i think this is a good idea. not enough pressure is being put on vendors to produce stable 64-bit drivers. this damn well better speed up the process.
  • by Mantaman (948891) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:19AM (#19162373)
    Does this mean that MS are going to inflict another operating system on us in the near future?
  • that we'll see 32 bit computing for another 20 years? Seriously, it took them how long to bring Vista to the market? Something tells me that its going to take a lot longer for MS to move beyond that to the next version of Windows. There doesn't seem to be a lot of uptake on Vista. It might take 3 more years to get to SP2, never mind beyond Vista.
  • Owners of first-generation Intel Macs that used (32-bit only) Core Duo CPUs may not be so happy knowing that Vista will be the last Windows they will be able to run.
    I personally doubt most Mac owners will care too much about running the competition's OS.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sancho (17056)
      I don't know. Some people attribute the raging success of Apple's computer line in the past couple of years to the switch, because virtualization is now much better. Certainly most of the geeks I know that run Apple only switched because they could use virtualization to run those apps that they could not live without, as well as for testing in other OSs.
    • by catbutt (469582)
      Most Mac owners do not actually work for Apple Inc, so therefore Microsoft is not "the competition".
    • '' I personally doubt most Mac owners will care too much about running the competition's OS. ''

      If they run Windows, they run it to access some Windows-only application, not to get a flashy, tasteless user-interface, so Macintosh users are much better off with Windows XP anyway.
  • Wasn't all the talk during vista's development that it would be the last operating system they'd make?

    I know that was taken back a while ago. Just saying.
    • I'm pretty sure they never said they'd never make another operating system... They are primarily an OS company. What they said was that they weren't ever going to screw up on the development process of an OS again like they did Vista. They'll use different strategies to build the next OS (hopefully a shorter release cycle, less feature creep, fewer features dropped, fewer unrealistic promises, etc...). Hopefully it really does turn out different.

      Although this news sounds horrible. At one point Bill G
  • by mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:20AM (#19162399)

    ...2^64 bytes of RAM should be enough for anyone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mcpkaaos (449561)
      Well, the systems will handle 2^64 bytes of RAM, but Windows will probably reserve the upper 2^48.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Actually, last time I checked modern 64-bit cpus could actually only address 2^40 bytes of Ram, because you couldn't physically attach that much ram to them. 2^39 starting at 0 and 2^39 at the other end of the 64-bit spectrum.

        Essentially the upper half IS reserved for the OS (which is much more than 2^48, it's 2^63), but it will be a long while before it's a problem, because at the moment there's a big no-man's-land between the valid program and OS memory addresses.
  • by ArcherB (796902) * on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:20AM (#19162407) Journal

    Windows Vista and Server 2008 will be the last versions of Windows capable of booting on 32-bit CPUs such as Intel Pentium 4 and Core Duo
    Before anyone falls into the trap I almost fell into, please note that the Core Duo is not the 64-bit capable Core2 Duo.
    • by hackstraw (262471) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:56AM (#19163217)
      Before anyone falls into the trap I almost fell into, please note that the Core Duo is not the 64-bit capable Core2 Duo.

      Thanks for the heads up.

      I find the "PC" world funny. I've used higher end equipment for quite some time, and I've found myself back into "commodity" land and its pretty confusing.

      The summary says "AMD, which introduced 64-bit CPUs early". Huh?

      DEC Alpha chips were introduced in 1992 and were 64-bit. SPARC went 64-bit in 1995. MIPS went 64-bit in 1991. PA-RISC in 1996.

      AMD came out with 64bit/32bit hybrid chips in what? 2002-2003?

      How is this early?

      Also, Intel introduced the Itanium, a pure 64-bit chip in 2001. They had a strange i860 chip in the late 80s that was 64-bit.

      I've been running 64-bit linux for about 10 years plus or minus 6 months.

      To me, I find the x86_64 stuff to be a hack and late to the game. The only reason its remotely interesting is that its cheap, but calling this new or interesting is completely wrong.

      • by Chas (5144) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @01:04PM (#19164533) Homepage Journal
        "DEC Alpha chips were introduced in 1992 and were 64-bit. SPARC went 64-bit in 1995. MIPS went 64-bit in 1991. PA-RISC in 1996."

        And how many did you see, across the board, in consumer grade "Bob Everyman" systems?

        "How is this early?"

        Because Intel was basically telling people (rightly) that they really didn't need 64-bit on consumer workstations and laptops for another 10-15 years. AMD said "we've got it and we're releasing it". The adoption of the x64 stuff by Intel only reinforces this.

        "Also, Intel introduced the Itanium, a pure 64-bit chip in 2001."

        Which SUCKS for general computing use, and requires ridiculously complex "intelligent" compilers to eke decent performance out of your code.

        "They had a strange i860 chip in the late 80s that was 64-bit."

        Misconception. The data buses were 64-bits wide. And the FPU register depth was 64-bit (however, today's FPU have registers 80-bit deep by comparison).

        "I've been running 64-bit linux for about 10 years plus or minus 6 months."

        When did this become about dicksizing?

        "To me, I find the x86_64 stuff to be a hack and late to the game."

        As has been said about just about EVERY x86 development for most of the last 30 years. However, there's a reason why x86 is still the dominant platform extant. Underneath all the hacks and kludges and other cruft, the basic platform is stable, completely documented, and TIME TESTED. As such, the development community is orders of magnitude larger than any other. And, as a byproduct, the user community, who only cares about getting their hands on their personal favorite app, is several more orders of magnitude larger still compared to the user space of every other platform extant COMBINED.

        Yes, inertia may NOT be the best reason for holding on to a platform. However, as long as the platform does what's required of it, what's the legitimate bitch?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Chris Burke (6130)
          However, there's a reason why x86 is still the dominant platform extant. Underneath all the hacks and kludges and other cruft, the basic platform is stable, completely documented, and TIME TESTED.

          BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

          Sorry, I'm not trying to make fun, that was an excellent post so stumbling across that small clause thrown in there made me Laugh Out Loud.

          Sadly, there is a lot in x86 that isn't documented. Especially if you're looking for all that documentation in one place, but even without you're never go
  • Anyone running a Mac is used to major upgrades not working (or rather, not working well) with old software. That's not going to be a problem. Besides, if the release dates of Vista and Vista++ are as far apart as the release dates of XP and Vista, most of those 1st gen Intel Macs probably won't be in use anymore.
  • The real questions are:
    • will hardware vendors stop releasing 32-bit chips?
    • Will companies upgrade hardware in orer to get the latest version of Windows?
    • Will this help provide more incentive for a Linux desktop?
    • Will this increase the amount of lead going into our landfills?
    • by garcia (6573)
      Well you certainly have hit all the buzztopics on the head haven't you?

      will hardware vendors stop releasing 32-bit chips?

      Probably not but they certainly won't become the main product. The main product is selling chips to people running Windows and if it's not supported in 32-bit the demand for new chips that are 32-bit will drop.

      Will companies upgrade hardware in orer to get the latest version of Windows?

      It depends but probably. Once the EOL happens for XP/Vista they will be forced to upgrade in order to
    • will hardware vendors stop releasing 32-bit chips?

      Who cares? That's not relevant. Hardware companies still produce 16-bit chips [intel.com] but that doesn't mean most people are still using 16-bit desktop computers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130)
      will hardware vendors stop releasing 32-bit chips?

      As far as AMD and Intel are concerned, 32-bit-only processors are nearly gone already.

      Will companies upgrade hardware in orer to get the latest version of Windows?

      Maybe, but it's more likely just to upgrade the system specs like they're having to do with Vista rather than to support 64-bit. The upgrade needed to run Vista probably entails purchasing a 64-bit processor, even if they don't use a 64-bit OS.

      Will this help provide more incentive for a Linux desk
  • The Real Motivation:
    Buh-Bye Flash, hello Starlight! (or whatever it's called)
  • by anss123 (985305) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:24AM (#19162513)
    Linux, *BSP, etc, etc, are happy to support 32-Bit/64-Bit at the same time. I tried out the 64-Bit version of Windows Vista in VMWare (which can run 64-Bit Vista on top of 32-Bit Vista) and the only "benefit" I got was that my old 16-Bit apps stopped running. (Got several great 16-Bit games, and a 16-Bit dictionary.) What can the newfangled 64-Bit future Windows do that won't be feasible with a 32-Bit version lurking around?
    • ... a 16-Bit dictionary.

      Abridged, I assume?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by david.given (6740)

        ... a 16-Bit dictionary.
        Abridged, I assume?

        Yeah, it'd only contain 32768 words...

    • by shoptroll (544006)
      16-bit games? Shouldn't you be running those in DOSBox?
      • by anss123 (985305) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:46AM (#19163007)
        But running an emulator just for a quick game of Missile Command, Asteroids, Centipede, Battlezone, tempest, Tetris, etc, etc, is annoying.

        The other day I put Win 3.11 up against Windows Vista at Chess. Just to clarify I played Chess Titans up against Chess.exe from the Microsoft Entertainment pack, at expert level.

        With Vista being the newcomer Titan's got to play first. After about 30 seconds of thinking, Vista made it's _first_ move, in which chess.exe responded to immediately. From there a furious battle across the board started, with chess.exe taking more and more time to think along the way.

        After about a half an hour of playtime the game ended with Windows 3.11 crashing, In some sort of ironic twist, one move from checkmating.. Vista.

        Heh.

        Chess.exe might have had an advantage in that it is thinking on the opponents turn, but I'm still surprised Chess Titans was beat out by a fifteen year old program made for a computer a thousand times slower. Go Microsoft!
  • Owners of first-generation Intel Macs that used (32-bit only) Core Duo CPUs may not be so happy knowing that Vista will be the last Windows they will be able to run.

    If the XP to Vista roadmap is any indication, I figure they have at least five years before they have to worry about the next major Windows release not running on their machines.

  • YES! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Quantam (870027) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:24AM (#19162519) Homepage
    As a programmer I've been waiting for this. I was actually disappointed that Vista would support 32-bit CPUs, but I guess there was no way around that, given how common 32-bit x86s still are. Having one architecture to support will make things much easier, as well as get people to actually update their legacy code. Now if MS could get them to actually fix all the problems due to generally crappy code (like requiring admin)...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Dream on!

      You think the hardware vendors are waiting around? They are already dreaming of 128-bit CPU's.

      In 7-8 years when/if Vista's successor is ready the hardware vendors will already have had 128-bit CPU's on the market for at least a year, and convinced everyone that they need one.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chris Burke (6130)
        You think the hardware vendors are waiting around? They are already dreaming of 128-bit CPU's.

        Well I see what you're getting at (hardware vendors wanting to sell upgrades), but no, they aren't dreaming of 128-bit cpus. Because 64 bits is really going to be enough for a long time. 2^64 is huge.

        Previous jumps made a lot more sense. 4 to 8 to 16 was automatic, as soon as transistor budgets was high enough it made sense to do it. 16 bits wasn't ever sufficient, either -- 64k isn't even a very long text file
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bakes (87194) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:24AM (#19162525) Journal
    Microsoft themselves still don't support 64-bit yet. I installed the 64-bit version of SQL Server 2005 only to find it doesn't support 64-bit for SQL Mail and SSIS - you have to run the 32-bit versions of them under WoW64. Someone else has already mentioned drivers. If Microsoft can't or won't support their own software under 64 bit environments, they are going to have a heck of a time convincing developers to push everything over.

    I fear there will be a loooooooong transition time - just as well they gave everyone an early warning.
    • Er...what?

      I run several SQL 2005 instances, one of them a 2-node cluster of SQL 2005 SP1 64-bit on Windows 2003 R2 SP2 64-bit, and I don't have this problem. SSIS works just fine. I don't use SQL Mail, so I can't speak to it, but unless SQL Server set up and is running WoW64 without telling me (which, I admit, isn't impossible), SSIS works just dandy in 64-bit land.
  • Owners of first-generation Intel Macs that used (32-bit only) Core Duo CPUs may not be so happy knowing that Vista will be the last Windows they will be able to run.

    So...everybody on slashdot proclaims that Vista sucks so bad that it is the final nail in Microsoft's coffin...yet they are not happy that Windows will be discontinuing 32 bit support in 5 to 10 years???

  • By the time the next version of Windows comes around people who currently own P4s and Core Duos aren't going to be worried about upgrading the OS on their existing machines.

    Not to mention that it's all too common for software/hardware manufacturers to make these grandiose kinds of statements only to retract it at a later date. I've never seen the axe fall on such a standard without at least a few false announcements of abandonment. For example: I was told 2-3 years ago that both ATI and nVidia were both go
  • This has been long overdue. From what I've read there's a lot more security enhancements in Vista 64-bit than 32-bit. I would like to move over to a 64-Bit windows platform, but the last time I tried it with XP, all my hardware was able to work with it except for Palm who insists on 32-bit drivers. Not sure about iPods either. Palm was higher on the stuff-that-must-work priority list than my iPod at the time.

    This also should allow Microsoft to cut back on the size of windows since they, at least in my m
  • So judging by the trends in Microsoft's development cycles, we'll see this Vista replacement somewhere around 2018 then? Pardon me while I burst into panic. By then computers might even be fast enough to give acceptable performance with Vista! I kid, I kid.

    But seriously, I think this is probably the least of any Mac users worries. Generally, Bootcamp is used for backwards rather than forwards compatibility. The forward compatibility is Mac OS. Windows is for legacy apps.

  • by postbigbang (761081) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:27AM (#19162603)
    when you consider that it took many more years for Vista than was planned; the next Windows release ought to come about retirement age for most of us.

    That and as Microsoft seems to feel that your next PC will be a cell/mobile phone, I'm waiting for the advent of the 64-bit mobile phone processor. Imagine its 128-bit predecessor. You'll be able to address every bit in the known universe with the memory map on *that* one.

    Or, perhaps 'legacy' hardware will get some much needed added life, by utilizing ultra-fast 32-bit processors that just do work far faster than their 64-bit equivalents-simply because code maturity will force opmitizations.
  • A large part of Microsoft's inability to modernize many aspects of Windows has been their need to retain backward compatibility with all sorts of crappy old software that did all sort of bad things that would break when the OS was recompiled. While it sucks for people with 32-bit machines, this is an opportunity for Microsoft to stop diverting resources to making old junk work and dedicate those resources to making actual improvements to the OS.

    They have to do it this way. Apple doesn't have this problem
    • If MS was smart, they'd provide some sort of virtualization functionality into the next OS that allows stragglers to run their old applications on the OS. However, hardware manufacturers *cough* PALM *cough* need to wake up and do something. This decision isn't exactly a big surprise. We've had 64-Bit XP since 2002-2003ish.
  • Hardware that was out when WinXP came out can run vista.
  • Apparently, it's just too hard for Microsoft to do what Linux distributions have done for several years now: support 32 bit and 64 bit simultaneously.
  • Owners of first-generation Intel Macs that used (32-bit only) Core Duo CPUs may not be so happy knowing that Vista will be the last Windows they will be able to run.

    Call me crazy, but I didn't buy my Mac to run Windows. So I won't be "not so happy". Thanks for speculating though!
  • by buddha42 (539539)

    Owners of first-generation Intel Macs that used (32-bit only) Core Duo CPUs may not be so happy knowing that Vista will be the last Windows they will be able to run."
    No, I'm pretty sure they won't give the slightest crap whatsoever.
  • Owners of first-generation Intel Macs that used (32-bit only) Core Duo CPUs may not be so happy knowing that Vista will be the last Windows they will be able to run.

    So what, we'll need to upgrade our machines in 6 years or so? That's well within the typical Mac lifecycle... though just barely. Unlike standard PCs Macs are typically used for ~5 years before being upgraded. The OS just keeps getting better and faster so the older machines actually work better than when they were introduced... Linux seems clos

  • This is certainly good news for Win95 and Win98 users. For a minute there, they thought they were going to have to upgrade, but with the future Windows OSes no longer competing for the 32-bit space, the market share for even Win2k should now become stable.
  • Owners of first-generation Intel Macs that used (32-bit only) Core Duo CPUs may not be so happy knowing that Vista will be the last Windows they will be able to run."

    Is this really an issue? I mean, isn't XP Pro the last reasonably respectible OS Microsoft made? Why would they run Vista at all? Why would they want to?

    • Re:Sure... (Score:5, Funny)

      by SEMW (967629) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @02:08PM (#19165753)

      Is this really an issue? I mean, isn't XP Pro the last reasonably respectible OS Microsoft made?
      2007

      Yes.

      2002

      What? Windows XP Pro is crap, bloated, and has ridiculous hardware requirements. Wasting system resources on a Fisher-price UI? No thanks! 2000 is the last reasonably respectible OS Microsoft has made.

      2000

      Windows 2000? I think not -- it requires 64MB of RAM for god's sake; and recommends 128MB! Who has that much RAM? Bloated piece of crap. 98 is the last reasonably respectible OS Microsoft has made.

      1996

      Windows 98? I think not! It barely does more than Windows 95 did, but have you seen how much bigger the sysreqs are due to bloated crap like active desktop and IE4? No, 95 is the last reasonably respectible OS Microsoft has made.

      1995

      No, Windows 95 is crap, bloated, and has ridiculous hardware requirements. Can you believe it needs a 32-bit CPU? What applications need 32-bit, anyway? None! Bigger isn't always better, you know; and that's certainly true for 32bit/16bit. 3.11 is the last reasonably respectible OS Microsoft has made.

      1992

      Windows 3.11? Crap, bloated, and has ridiculous hardware requirements. What use is a GUI, anyway? I can do things faster at the command line. Give me MS-DOS 5 and-day.

      1991

      MS-DOS 5? Crap, bloated, and has ridiculous hardware requirements. COMMAND.COM is over 47kB, can you believe it? I long for the good old days of 2.0 and 3.0.

      1983

      MS-DOS 2/3? Bah. Who needs the bloat? Give me something lean and mean like CP/M any say.

      1976

      CP/M? A general purpose operating system? Who needs it? Everyone knows it's more efficient to have different machines to do different tasks. Do one thing and do it well, I say.

      etc., etc.
  • by TopSpin (753) *

    Owners of first-generation Intel Macs that used (32-bit only) Core Duo CPUs may not be so happy knowing that Vista will be the last Windows they will be able to run.

    Question: Circa 2013* or so when a replacement for Vista actually appears, exactly how many "first-generation" Intel Mac operators that actually use their by-then 7 year old systems to run Microsoft operating systems will actually care?

    Answer: Both.

    Please. I wouldn't be surprised or disturbed to learn the latest version of OS X isn't be supported on 32 bit Macs by the time Microsoft replaces Vista. If history is any guide there is at least one processor architecture change-over in store for Apple between

  • Step 2 will be to restrict booting unless the board has TPM enabled.
  • That's odd. I thought they already did that before Windows 95.
  • And Windows 95 was the last 16/32 hybrid
    Oh no, Windows 98 will *really* be it.
    Whoops, Windows 98SE will be it!
    Windows ME will, we really mean it this time!
  • Good! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by default luser (529332) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:41AM (#19162907) Journal
    The 4GB memory barrier is fast-aproaching for high-end users, and dealing with it is a MESS. Most motherboards don't support PAE (either due to lack of re-mappable PCI address space, or even lack of 36-bit address lines!), so we have a hard-limit of 2-3GB in the most popular version of Vista (32-bit). This is going to be a rough few years for game developers.

    I really don't see why Microsoft went 32-bit on this version anyway...I'd say over %80 of the potential upgrade platforms and over %95 of all shipping PCs today support x86-64 mode. But when you look back, history paves the way:

    Windows 386 = Windows 2.0 with 32-bit enhancements bolted-on. Equivilant of Windows XP 64
    Windows 3 = crossover version with support for 16-bit and 32-bit processors. Equivilant of Vista.
    Windows 95 = supports only 32-bit processors. Equivilant to the next revision of Windows.

    Too bad Microsoft didn't have the balls to jump the gun and make Vista 64-bit only.
  • by asphaltjesus (978804) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @12:09PM (#19163525)
    As has been mentioned before on /. Microsoft will require signed drivers on their 64 bit OS

    http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platform/64bi t/kmsigning.mspx [microsoft.com]

    Implications of this are:

    1. Chilling effect to new devices.
    2. Sets the stage for tighter DRM handcuffs.

    From Microsoft's perspective these aren't bad things as they directly benefit Microsoft shareholders though, so I guess it's a wash.

    • Except you are wrong (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770)
      They don't require MS's signature on drivers, just a signature. You can self sign. Many drivers are signed that way. The Creative Labs audio drivers, for example. Those pieces of shit wouldn't pass WHQL validation, but they don't have to. Creative self signs them. Likewise the Truecrypt kernel module is self signed (though not because it sucks).

      This doesn't stop free, open drivers, just requires the people releasing them to sign them. If the driver isn't MS signed, Vista pops up a little box saying "The dri
  • by alienfluid (677872) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @07:48PM (#19172261) Homepage
    So it seems like it's the Server SKU that is going to be 64-bit only, and not the client OS:

    UPDATE | Microsoft's Alex Heaton has clarified the comment of Bill Laing, on which this story is based. "Bill Laing, a General Manager in the Microsoft Windows Server Division, has been quoted as saying that Windows Server 2008 will be the last 32-bit operating system. Bill is a server guy and indeed Windows Server 2008 is the last 32-bit server operating system - all future operating systems for server hardware from Microsoft beyond Windows Server 2008 will be 64-bit," Heaton said.

    "A few folks took Bill's comments on Windows Server and applied them to Windows Client deriving that Windows Vista would be the last 32-bit operating system. That is an incorrect extension. While Windows Vista includes both 32-bit and 64-bit and there is a growing community of drivers for 64-bit Windows Vista we have not decided when Windows Client will follow Windows Server and become 64-bit only."

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