Majority of Windows 7 installations to be 64-bit?

By on January 22, 2009, 4:16 PM
We’ve been able to make the switch to 64-bit operating systems for a while now, but driver compatibility issues and the mere fact that there wasn’t a lot of need for it have held up widespread adoption. Things have been changing rapidly in the past year, though, according to Microsoft, with about 25 percent of all Vista installations in 2008 opting for a 64-bit setup.

The company attributes this to the falling prices of RAM and the fact that the retail channel is looking to use memory upgrades as a way to boost margin. But of course, in order to address more than 4GB of RAM you need a 64-bit operating system, which is why system builders have already started pushing 64-bit Vista over 32-bit and will likely do the same with Windows 7.

The last apparent issues with adoption are software and hardware compatibility. However, unless you are running legacy stuff you should be ok on the hardware front, and even though most applications aren't 64-bit native yet, 32bit applications should usually run just fine on a 64-bit Windows installation. I for one have already made the switch, how about you?




User Comments: 23

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complexxL9 said:
64bit all the way..if you have 64bit CPU there's no reason to go for 32bit OS imo.
Julio said:
Poor driver implementation was the largest drawback of using a 64-bit Windows variant as your primary OS. Today you shouldn't have any such issues with modern hardware. I have also been running Vista x64 for months now without a single compatibility issue I can recall.I don't think MS is making any bold statements here, Win7 will primarily be a x64 OS (at last).
canadian said:
I have been on x64 since Vista Beta 2.
skitzo_zac said:
Currently running the 7 Beta in 64 bit, but my primary OS is still XP in 32 bit. I will probably build a new PC during the year and will make the switch to 64 bit full time.
9Nails said:
I hope that Microsoft smartens up with Windows OS distributions. All future versions should come as 64bit/32bit license keys and installation source. And come as a single version that you can optionally select "Home", "Business", or "Ultimate" editions from. At the core, these are all the same, so why have 3 versions? It's just overly complicated.And I doubt this will happen, but I really just want to see one media disk for all licensing options. I'm tired of having an OEM or Retail license key not work with VLA media, and any combination there-in. Supporting computers, this has been one of my biggest headaches. And the customers never keep their disks! Oh, but that COA sticker is always right there on the side of the computers or bottom of the laptop. I even got locked out of my genuine XP OEM disk and COA code when I slip-streamed my media from SP1 to SP3. Come on Microsoft!
DragonMaster said:
[quote]However, unless you are running legacy stuff you should be ok on the hardware front[/quote]Yep, 2006-built system, definitely legacy hardware. Windows 7 64-bit works quite fast, but I'm stuck using my onboard Realtek NIC, the Windows-provided video drivers because AMD decided that anything older than the HD2000 wasn't supported anymore under Windows 7, and my Creative sound card only has half-baked drivers (when compared to the average XP drivers).Any applications that work on Vista are going to work on Windows 7 if you disable the Customer Experience Improvement Program, unless the application is installing low-level drivers (hardware monitors, etc.), or if you're installing drivers.Fix here:[url]http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r21766633-Windows-
-Windows-Installer-has-stopped-working[/url]Solved problems installing Logitech SetPoint, for example. Windows 7 is great IMO, but I can't afford to buy a good NIC, video card and a new sound card for my computer. Even if I could, all the non-obsolete sound cards and NICs use PCI-E 1x or 4x, and my mainboard has a single PCI-E 1x slot and no 4x (just like about every new mainboards on this planet) and my 1x slot is used by a TV tuner.
peas said:
"Poor driver implementation was the largest drawback of using a 64-bit Windows variant as your primary OS. Today you shouldn't have any such issues with modern hardware."That's poorly stated. 64-bit drivers are _less_ of an issue now that many more vendors have 64-bit drivers. Mostly because Microsoft strong-armed vendors with Vista, requiring them to ship both 32- and 64-bit drivers to get Vista logo. Good for us in the end if Win7 is delivered as promised. Skip Vista.
DragonMaster said:
[b]Originally posted by 9Nails:[/b][quote]I hope that Microsoft smartens up with Windows OS distributions. All future versions should come as 64bit/32bit license keys and installation source. And come as a single version that you can optionally select "Home", "Business", or "Ultimate" editions from. At the core, these are all the same, so why have 3 versions? It's just overly complicated.[/quote]The public beta 64-bit and 32-bit keys can be interchanged with the different install medias. I know there's a way to upgrade lesser Windows 7 editions to Ultimate from within the UI, but I don't know if this means they'll all use the same media or not.
Julio said:
[b]Originally posted by peas:[/b][quote]"Poor driver implementation was the largest drawback of using a 64-bit Windows variant as your primary OS. Today you shouldn't have any such issues with modern hardware."That's poorly stated. 64-bit drivers are _less_ of an issue now that many more vendors have 64-bit drivers. Mostly because Microsoft strong-armed vendors with Vista, requiring them to ship both 32- and 64-bit drivers to get Vista logo. Good for us in the end if Win7 is delivered as promised. Skip Vista.[/quote]How was your comment any different from what I said?Because they are "less" of an issue?
DarkCobra said:
Julio you beat me to it! You said exactly the same thing and actually better! I think "peas" simply read it the wrong way somehow. At first poor driver implementation was indeed the initial drawback to the 64bit platform. That's not the case anymore and my 64bit machine in Vista screams.
Julio said:
Right, and I wasn't only talking Vista but even XP (x64) was reserved to those adventurous users because of the lacking driver support.
champmanfan said:
I've had Vista x64 for just under 2 years & apart from faffing on with Alchemy to get X-fi to work with EAX, its been my main OS of choice. There are still issues with HID inputs affecting frame-rates (Logitech in my experience) and large RAM uses hence me using 8Gb RAM, but XP is trouble-free on these 3 big issues for me.But then I bought it mainly for Crysis x64 + DX10 loveliness & therein lies the problem. DX10 isn't a big deal with most gamers as DX9 still offers better stability & performance for what is still a very good PQ. With Windows7, we'll not be so keen to get it for just DX11 this time. Still can't believe we got out DX10.1 took off us when we got SP1!
windmill007 said:
Dang Vista....If it wasn't for its problems we may have moved past 32bit...Why even have 32 bit anymore. I think Microsoft is just to scared... So most of the masses will just stick with 32 bit unfortunately if given a choice which will only hurt 64 bit adoption and maturation. I have all next Gen hardware and I'm a gamer but yes I stick with Xp 32bit...Why? Compatibility and I want ever ounce of speed possible. [Edited by windmill007 on 2009-01-23 05:05:14]
yukka said:
I am running 64bit Vista. No problems here at all.
rvoll said:
I have a test platform with Vista 64. All of the applications work great with the exception of Dragon Naturally Speaking version 10 which won't install on a 64 bit platform. I can install version 9.5 if I hack the MSI file, but it is not anywhere as good as 10. Drivers have not been a problem except for my Epson scanner. Installing the 32-bit drivers gives me a WIA interface, but I lose some of the options of a TWAIN interface. To run legacy apps I have installed MS Virtual PC 2007 -- it is significantly slower but the few 16 bit apps I run there work just fine.
Mugsy said:
I've been saying for two years now that MS's next OS must be 64bit if the platform is to survive. Why would ANYONE spend $100-$200 to upgrade from one working 32bit OS (XP) to another 32bit OS with no significant advantage? If MS expects anyone to spend that much money to give up a perfectly usable 32bit OS, the new OS must do something XP *CAN'T*, like address more RAM and more sophisticated programs. So when the Beta of Win7 was released, I went for the 64bit version.I have a few pieces of "legacy" hardware in my PC... specifically, two PCI cards... for which there are no "official" 64bit drivers. Win7 refused to recognize the 32bit drivers, so I found some *generic* 64bit Vista drivers and installed them under Win7, which claimed to accept them. But when I rebooted, Win7 went into "auto-repair mode", which failed. All attempts to fix the problem using the setup disc likewise failed, leaving my only remaining option to [b]reformat and reinstall Win7 from scratch... which I'm NOT about to do.[/b]If 64bit Win7 is to be successful, legacy support for 32bit drivers must be added, and the "auto-repair" system needs to be improved/fixed, or Win7 will fail as well.
nitefang said:
I've only had Vista 64bit for about 2 months now but I am very happy I made the switch. Everything runs faster and I had a lot of programs and games that were suppose to run fine on 32bit but didn't. I don't know if there is a different way to fix that problem but switching to 64bit sure fixed it. The only down side was that the Blutooth dongle I had doesn't work now but I just got a new one. Besides that no problems what so ever.
mrbios said:
[b]Originally posted by complexxL9:[/b][quote]64bit all the way..if you have 64bit CPU there's no reason to go for 32bit OS imo.[/quote]Office 2007 is not fully 64bit compatible! A coworker ended up running 32bit xp through a virtual machine on top of his 64bit vista os because his pocket pc, black berry etc would not sync! We are at least 5 years from wide spread adoption of 64bit os. 75 percent of vista is 32bit! Doesn't that say something?
Per Hansson said:
"75 percent of vista is 32bit! Doesn't that say something?"Yea, that Microsoft made a mistake and should only have released the 64bit in the first place! Screw Intel and their Netburst archtecture, Vista does not run well on those systems anywayBeen running the 64bit version on Win7 for a few weeks now, I really like itI'm not saying it's leaps and bounds better than Win2K or WinXP x64But it definantley is hughe leaps and bounds better than Vista!The only way to make it even better (IMO) would be to release it as a 64bit only OSLess codebase for the driver developers = better written drivers
gsteele531 said:
Hmmm. 3 Windows 7 installations to date; none successful with respect to video drivers. One on a Compaq laptop; standard VGA, no driver for modem, networking, or sound. One on a Dell; no driver for 3 different ATI cards, vintages 2000 to 2004. One on an Asus P4P800 mobo with a 2004 NVidia QuadFX video board - no joy, and didn't recognize the RAID controller, either.I guess the point here is that much has been made of the Vista drivers issue being solved in 7, yet (and I recognize these are somewhat old cards) XP recognized them fine. AMD had no solution to the ATI card problem, and Vista drivers didn't work - nor did XP drivers. If you have to upgrade much of your hardware to use 7, it's not much of an advance, driver-wise. I suppose I could try a current card, but I'm a bit wary now of 7 (I know, beta). FWIW.
Per Hansson said:
gsteele531; Well, drivers for Vista are supposed to work with Win7This is Microsofts goal, please remember this is a beta, a long way is still left in it's development for drivers and the OS to mature(FYI with some modding I was able to get the Vista drivers for my Auzentech X-Meridian to work quite ok in WIn7, and the Vista driver for my LSI 8704ELP RAID controller worked fine too...)
fullmetalvegan said:
"75 percent of vista is 32bit! Doesn't that say something?" Most people don't know what 64-bit is, that's why too. Not to mention there'd still be propaganda floating around that 64-bit has no drivers and is unsupported etc.
ajy0903 said:
I tried Windows 7 Beta 64bit with my new Core i7 920 cpu and Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5, when I get windows update for that board's network card, it stuck while installation of driver and never manages to fully install, which makes it not recognizable so that i have to draw back the driver to previous ones.
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