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Microsoft Windows Technology

"Windows 7 Compatible" PCs Must Be 64-bit 440

Posted by Soulskill
from the set-course-for-debacletown dept.
Barence writes "Microsoft has started certifying PCs as 'compatible with Windows 7' — and is looking to avoid the mistakes that dogged the Vista-Capable scheme. Whereas Microsoft certified PCs that could only run Vista Home Basic last time around, this time PCs will have to work with all versions of Windows 7 to qualify for the sticker, including 64-bit versions of the OS. Microsoft also claims, 'products that receive the logo are checked for common issues to minimize the number of crashes, hangs, and reboots experienced by the user.'"
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"Windows 7 Compatible" PCs Must Be 64-bit

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  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Friday October 02, 2009 @08:19PM (#29622763) Homepage Journal

    This will be another nail in the 32bit coffin.

    • This will be another nail in the 32bit coffin.

      It's about frikkin time! 64 bit hardware for years, 32 bit OS and applications why???

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Tubal-Cain (1289912)
        64-bit Windows has moved so slowly that OpenOffice and Firefox still don't have stable win64 builds.
        Or MS Office 2007, AFAICT.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by mick88 (198800)

          Yup you are correct: there is no Office 2007 64-bit. It obviously runs fine on 64-bit windows, but until Office 2010 there's no true 64-bit office apps.

          • Re:Good (Score:4, Informative)

            by Savior_on_a_Stick (971781) <robertfranz@gmail.com> on Friday October 02, 2009 @11:10PM (#29623771)

            It may run fine, but there are interoperability problems with win64 and Outlook - serious ones.

            The Exchange management applets for mailbox moves and such use mapi functions from Outlook.

            Because of shitty planning, you can't run these applets on a win64 machine. You have to run them from a 32 bit machine with the tools installed.
            ExMerge is only an option if you have old ansi psts - mine are all unicode.

            The point is that there *still* are major issues with 64bit systems and interoperability of productivity software, not to mention hardware support.

        • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Friday October 02, 2009 @09:22PM (#29623203) Journal
          They don't have an official version, but there is a 64bit Firefox [start64.com] and I have found it to run much faster on XP X64 than 32bit Firefox. The only hangup is there is no 64bit flash for Windows, but since I'm not looking at flash it doesn't bother me. if I find a video that I absolutely must watch, well there is always Firefox 32 for that.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Wowsers (1151731)

            I would like to sound real smug right now at how I run 64bit Firefox with 64bit Flash on my 64bit Linux machine, but the fact remains the same as for 32bit. Flash is badly written, is still an enormous CPU hog on a 64bit system, with an ability to grind a 64bit machine slower than ANY other heavyweight application I've used. The CPU usage of Flash even occasionally manages to beat how much CPU HD-Video (MPEG4 encoded) takes to play back.

            After about 2 1/2 years Linux users finally have a new (beta) version o

        • Someone please explain why it's soooo important that we upgrade from 32 to 64 bit processors. What does 64-bit give us that we didn't have with 32-bit CPUs? (I have a 64-bit Nintendo64, but don't see it as any better than my 32-bit Gamecube or Wii.)

        • by Johnno74 (252399)

          Even if you are only running 32bit apps if you have more than 3gb of ram you should still windlows x64.

          on a 64 bit OS each 32bit app can use 4bg of ram. Not many apps require more than 4gb.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Darinbob (1142669)
        Because the vast majority of people don't really NEED 64-bit OS and apps! A lot of people point to memory space limitations, but that has been gotten around with other methods; ie, that was a Windows problem, not a 32-bit problem. A 64-bit CPU helps in some areas certainly, numerical analysis, encryption, etc. But I strongly suspect that the vast majority of people wanting 64-bit OS don't need the extra precision, they're just thinking that's the only way they can get more than 4G of RAM, or that it's th
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by zippthorne (748122)

        And this different from how 32 bit glacially replaced 16 bit, how, exactly?

    • by kimvette (919543)

      Riiiight. Lots of devices will never get 64-bit drivers.

    • Bigger than this, is that the server OS, Windows Server 2008 R2, only comes in 64-bit. This also is a great way to end 32-bit on the consumer side.

  • At this point why even bother releasing a 32bit installer at all?
    • Re:Then why... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Suiggy (1544213) on Friday October 02, 2009 @08:29PM (#29622819)
      Because if they didn't release a 32-bit edition of the OS, it would piss off too many people. You'd have noticeable faction of people up in arms. I'm all for 64-bit computing, I'm not looking back. But there's enough people out there with 1GB of RAM or less that would complain. 64-bit OSes and 64-bit applications have a slightly larger memory footprint because pointers, offsets, and certain kernel object handles are suddenly 64-bits in length instead of 32-bit.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Brian Gordon (987471)

        I don't think anyone's concerned with losing 4 bytes to pointers.

        My laptop has a 2.16 GHz Core Duo (Yonah). It would run Windows 7 perfectly fine, but it's 32-bit. Why would Microsoft turn down that money?

        • Re:Then why... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by 644bd346996 (1012333) on Friday October 02, 2009 @08:46PM (#29622955)

          I think the point of the article is that new computers must be 64-bit capable in order to be advertised as Win7-ready. This is quit different from saying that computers being upgraded need 64-bit capabilities. In fact, Microsoft would be in huge trouble if they made Win7 refuse to install on non-64-bit capable machines, because the "release candidate" runs on machines as old as my 1.5Ghz Athlon XP, and such a drastic change in specs from something called a release candidate might not go over well with the FTC or the EU.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Tubal-Cain (1289912)

          Why would Microsoft turn down that money?

          If there aren't enough people with builds like yours (32-bit but still decently powerful), it just wouldn't be worth the cost of maintaining a separate architecture.

          • by Loomismeister (1589505) on Friday October 02, 2009 @08:55PM (#29623029)
            These posts are irrelevant because windows 7 comes in both 32 and 64-bit versions. The article is just talking about little worthless stickies on cases of computer shit that let dumb people know for sure it will work on windows 7 computers.
            • by click2005 (921437)

              The article is just talking about little worthless stickies on cases of computer shit that let dumb people know for sure it will work on windows 7 computers.

              That would be the staff at PC World I guess. They used to real the little cards next to the PC but many of the staff cant read. This way, they can be taught what Win7 can do and just have to recognize the little sticker.

    • Re:Then why... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Brian Gordon (987471) on Friday October 02, 2009 @08:34PM (#29622861)

      Because Windows 7's main competitors - Windows XP and Vista - run on 32 bit. And not even offering your product to half your customers is a great way to ensure half your customers don't buy it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Because Windows 7's main competitors - Windows XP and Vista - run on 32 bit. And not even offering your product to half your customers is a great way to ensure half your customers don't buy it.

        Curiously, initial reviews say that amongst the general public, most don't have plans to upgrade. Must have something to do with how most people are friggin' poor now and can't afford to drop $700 on a new desktop, LCD, and then $200 or so on licensing a new operating system. Not when we're still getting over sticker shock from having to spend $800 freaking dollars on an 'HDTV' because of the forced and sudden obsolesence of every TV made before it. I'm sorry -- but if you make less than about $35k a year,

        • Re:Then why... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by pete6677 (681676) on Friday October 02, 2009 @09:27PM (#29623235)

          sticker shock from having to spend $800 freaking dollars on an 'HDTV' because of the forced and sudden obsolesence of every TV made before it.

          BS. Nobody had to buy a new TV. If you have cable or satellite your old one kept on working with no changes. Converter boxes were widely available for antenna users and were even subsidized by the government. If you spent $800 on a TV it was because you wanted to, not because you had to.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by thejynxed (831517)

            You'll love this then. Since the digital changeover, my cableco decided, that to get more than 10 channels via their system, you have to 'upgrade' to their digital cable service. The kicker? Their 'new' digital cable boxes (new subscribers and upgraders only get the new ones from them now) only have HDMI and digital optical audio connectors.

            The only half-way decent thing about the box, is that it also has USB, Firewire and Memory Stick slots. Of course, the Firewire I believe is mandated by the FCC. The USB

        • Must have something to do with how most people are friggin' poor now and can't afford to drop $700 on a new desktop, LCD, and then $200 or so on licensing a new operating system.

          LMAO. Because "most people" buy new systems with no OEM version of Windows on it. Right...

          Not when we're still getting over sticker shock from having to spend $800 freaking dollars on an 'HDTV' because of the forced and sudden obsolesence of every TV made before it.

          LMAO once more. Because of course, most people weren't aware that bu

    • by neokushan (932374)

      Because quite a few people still rely on some 32bit applications that simply don't like 64bit environments. I, myself, use an application that is completely 64bit compliant but requires a 32bit driver to be functional. The drive is written by a 3rd party who appear be dragging their heels with regards to updating it.
      I can use this app just fine in Windows 7 32bit, but ANY 64bit OS is out of the question.

      • by DJRumpy (1345787)

        Why all the panic? They are taking a logical step. They are not saying you will no longer be able to use 32 bit apps or a 32 bit OS. They are just saying if you want that little logo that says your compatible with Windows 7, your system should be capable of running the 64 bit OS per MS specs. Nothing more. They are obviously offering a 32 bit version and that won't change between now and October 21st or whatever the release date is, but it IS a necessary step to push manufacturers in the right direction.

    • by kimvette (919543)

      Lots of devices will never get 64-bit drivers. I doubt Singer will ever release 64-bit drivers for their embroidery machines, for example.

      • by timmarhy (659436)
        uhuh. they will when enough of their customers complain they can't use their hardware.
        • "Buy our new 64-bit compatible embroidery machines" is the reply. The 64-bit transition is an upsell opportunity, just like the transition from 32-bit XP to 32-bit Vista.
    • Drivers (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770)

      There is plenty of old hardware out there which only has 32-bit drivers. 64-bit Windows is a pure 64-bit kernel space meaning no 32-bit code at all. So, if you have a device with 32-bit drivers, you have to use the 32-bit version.

      Also there are also some apps that fall in to this category. If they have a kernel component (like a virus scanner) that has to be 64-bit. If you have an old app that you need that doesn't have a 64-bit kernel module, well again you need the 32-bit version.

      Finally there are compute

    • by dhavleak (912889)
      Because TFA is completely wrong. See here: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1390979&cid=29623065 [slashdot.org]
  • by Tumbleweed (3706) on Friday October 02, 2009 @08:21PM (#29622773)

    Cuz without the VT ability in the CPU, it ain't gonna work, is my understanding. A lot of companies who cheaped out and bought lower-end CPU machines are going to be unpleasantly surprised if they need this ability. :(

    I know as a dev, I'm going to have to request an upgrade to a machine that's compatabile with Windows XP mode. *sigh*

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday October 02, 2009 @08:59PM (#29623055) Journal
      The thing that is going to cause havoc with the VT requirement is that it intel went through a period, I'm not sure if they are still in it, where they disabled it on a seemingly arbitrary subset of their CPUs, with only minor differences in model name. Then, of course, vendors worked their BIOS magic. Just look at this list [intel.com]. You have an E7400, do you have VT? Well, do you have an E7400-SLGQ8 or an E7400-SLGW3? It's nothing that your IT department couldn't slog through for you(and if you are really lucky, they've been speccing for it for some time now); but I pity the plight of the adventurous but dubiously detail oriented guy who learns that XP mode isn't going to happen because he has the Q8300-SLB5W rather than the Q8300-SLGUR.

      If it were something like "You need a Xeon for it to work", that'd be annoying; but it wouldn't really confuse anybody. As it is, though, there are going to be a whole lot of confused people out there.
  • How about forceing them to give you the 64 bit disk / a iso link?

  • this time PCs will have to work with all versions of Windows 7 to qualify for the sticker
    Nonsense, there are lot's of systems out there, particularly Netbooks, which will not. Certainly will not necessarily be 64-bit.
    If it only ran on 64-bit-capable systems, why is there a 32-bit version of Win 7 at all?

    • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Friday October 02, 2009 @09:08PM (#29623095)

      this time PCs will have to work with all versions of Windows 7 to qualify for the sticker
      Nonsense, there are lot's of systems out there, particularly Netbooks, which will not. Certainly will not necessarily be 64-bit.
      If it only ran on 64-bit-capable systems, why is there a 32-bit version of Win 7 at all?

      What exactly are you not understanding? This has exactly zero to do with a machine's ability to run Windows 7. This has everything to do with whether or not the manufacturer gets to put a little sticker on the case. The lack of the sticker does not mean that the computer is not capable of running any version of Windows 7, it simply means that the computer has not been certified to run every version of Windows 7.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by mick88 (198800)

      Completely true!! re-read your quoted text: "this time PCs will have to work with all versions of Windows 7 to qualify for the sticker".

      The last bit important - this is only about the sticker. At no point in TFA does it state Win7 will only run on 64-bit capable systems.

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      You seriously don't know the difference between being able to run a particular version on Win 7 and meeting some arbitrary requirements to get a sticker???

  • Wrong problem. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zapakh (1256518)
    The sticker-caring-about masses got pissed off because they were sold Aero, told it was Vista, and proceeded to take the Vista-Capable stickers as a cause for reassurance.

    The sticker needs to tell these people the feature set they'll be capable of running. They couldn't care less about the processor architecture.

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      It's not the processor architecture that matters, it's that x64 is normally the most "taxing" version of an OS. If the computer can run 7 Ultimate x64, it should be able to run all other versions.
  • by PPH (736903) on Friday October 02, 2009 @08:53PM (#29623011)

    ... whatever it takes.

  • Netbooks? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Teckla (630646) on Friday October 02, 2009 @08:53PM (#29623013)

    What about netbooks running 32-bit CPUs? Those will all be declared incompatible with Windows 7, even though 32-bit Windows 7 will run on them? I think I must be missing something.

    If only Microsoft had done the world a huge favor, and made Windows 7 64-bit only. And if only they had dropped a few different flavors of Windows 7, too. It would all be so much less confusing and frustrating.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by snaz555 (903274)

      What about netbooks running 32-bit CPUs? Those will all be declared incompatible with Windows 7, even though 32-bit Windows 7 will run on them? I think I must be missing something.

      They won't be able to use the full feature set though. A framework or library, like OpenCL, which wants to map GPU memory into the process address space will likely not be full featured on IA32. It likely won't find a large enough hole in the virtual address space to fit a 1-2GB region, or even a 512M. So the compatibility mode version of these frameworks will either exchange data using a buffered DMA model, a remapped window, or only use a small portion of video memory - say 128M. The compatibility mod

  • by stimpleton (732392) on Friday October 02, 2009 @09:00PM (#29623061)
    "'products that receive the logo are checked for common issues to minimize the number of crashes, hangs, and reboots experienced by the user.'"

    The Vista USB issue was a good example. And this policy would not have prevented that.

    A manager at work insisted their new laptop had Vista pre-installed several years ago(pre SP 1).
    Initially all was well, till it started blue-screening at random after about 6 months. It was difficult for me to nail down until Ipods(itunes) new ver 8 came out and bluescreened the machine 100% of the time when the iPod was plugged in. That was the clue I needed. Investigation found a disparity between the OS and the some (not all) USB controllers.Remember, some laptops can have different contoller type for side and back. At the time a few hot fixes wasnt 100% reliable.

    Then SP1 came out, and I found a reference to my problem in the release notes. Not one problem since with USB. The manager can use her Ipod, any and all usb sticks, her USB printer at home, her camera. The fix was a couple years in the making.
  • TFA is 100% Wrong! (Score:5, Informative)

    by dhavleak (912889) on Friday October 02, 2009 @09:01PM (#29623065)

    The sticker in question (Windows 7 Compatible) is not intended for use on a computer -- it's intended for peripherals and add-ons. Mice, keyboards, graphics cards, network cards, routers, etc. etc.
    .

    What the hell is wrong this site? Are the editors becoming so lazy that they don't stop for two seconds to understand the stupidity of their headlines? You would think that Win7 isn't being offered in 32-bit mode from reading it. Instead, what it means is that any device you buy with that sticker will work with 32-bit windows and 64-bit windows.

    • by dhavleak (912889)

      I guess this might help: http://asia.cnet.com/crave/2009/10/02/microsoft-approved-peripherals-get-windows-7-compatible-stamps/ [cnet.com]
      .

      But seriously -- the headline is so eye-popping that you'd think the editor would pause for a second, and then verify it, before starting a whole freaking conversation about nothing.

    • by dhavleak (912889) on Friday October 02, 2009 @09:16PM (#29623153)

      Oh - if anyone needs to hear it from the horses' mouth itself, see here [windowsteamblog.com]. To save yourself time, scroll to the bottom of the article and see the update.

    • by Nimey (114278)

      Editor is... soulskill.

      I'd have supposed kdawson, but the summary didn't have quite enough loaded phrases.

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