Microsoft has made a commitment to launch 32-bit and x64 versions of its Longhorn server operating system. There has been, for some time, agreement from Microsoft that there would be a 32-bit version of the client, as well as an x64 version, but as far as the server version went, even during last week things were undecided. However, now the 32-bit and x64 versions will go ahead.

"We will support 32-bit and 64-bit," Bob Kelly, a general manager in Microsoft's Windows server group, said in an interview yesterday. "We're in a transition period from 32-bit to 64-bit. We believe that will take a while."

Microsoft will ship a 32-bit version of the Longhorn server so customers can run the new operating system on existing server hardware. At the time the Longhorn server version ships, Microsoft expects that the vast majority of new x86-based servers, if not all, will be shipped with x64 processors.