Microsoft: 46% Windows 7 installations are 64-bit

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For the first time in history, 64-bit operating systems are gaining serious traction with the arrival of Windows 7. In a blog post today, Microsoft revealed that 46% of Windows 7 users are running a 64-bit version, which compares to only 11% of those on Vista and less than 1% on XP. Steam recently released stats showing an even higher adoption rate among its customers, with around two times more people running Windows 7 x64 than x86.

OEMs have finally embraced the architecture, with some converting their entire consumer lineups to 64-bit-only machines. NPD says that 77% of retail PCs sold in the US during April 2010 ran the updated architecture but it's not just end users buying into 64-bit computing.

Gartner estimates that 75% of all businesses will ditch 32-bit systems by 2014, and Intel recently migrated to a 64-bit environment to take advantage of features such as support for more than 4GB of RAM and additional security benefits.

Are you among the 54% on a 32-bit copy of Windows 7? What's stopping you from making the switch? If you're teetering on the fence about what version of Windows to install, we have a quick overview of the topic here.

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