x64 Windows Platforms have Shipped

x64 Windows Platforms have Shipped

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Not so long ago, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 for x64 were released to manufacturing (RTM'd). Today, they have finally shipped and are available to consumers, but you won't find these yet on retail sales shelves.

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is available on x64 machines now, and users with x64 machines now can exchange their 32-bit Windows XP for the x64 edition. You may also obtain this through the Microsoft Product Information Center or our Volume Licensing program for 5 or more computers. If you're a developing thinking about or already planning on targeting XP x64 be sure to check out the Windows XP Professional x64 Edition community portal.

Windows Server 2003 x64 Editions are also available on x64 machines now, but you may purchase them through Microsoft and registered resellers. You may also visit the Windows Server 2003 community portal.

Make sure that before you upgrade you check driver availability for components in your system. My x64 development and test machine for testing the x64 install and patching of the .NET Framework didn't have drivers available for the integrated NIC but we had nother NIC with drivers available that I installed.

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  • More than a year later x64 is still on my list of stuff that I would not recommend to my customers. XP x64 is problematic enough and Windows Server 2003 x64 is hellish to get in working order. The reason: Drivers.

    The hardware manufacturers are still not onboard and the drivers are missing. I can see why. There is simply no incentive for them to make 64bit drivers. Lets face it, they are not in this business to make drivers for all versions of all OS's.

    People are disabling their driver verification policies and installing all sorts of strange drivers downloaded from all sorts of strange websites in the hope of getting their hardware recognized by windows.


  • Mats, while perhaps not enough incentive for the time being, 64-bit will likely be the standard in years to come due to performance enhancements in the architecture itself. Sure, x86 will probably be around for quite some time as well.

    Drivers can be a problem, but that's one reason for researching an x64 system and its components before you buy. Any OEM x64 system should have drivers available; otherwise, they're really hurting their customers. Some OEMs are actually shipping 32-bit Windows on these machines to workaround these problems, which begs the question why they ship 64-bit machines in such cases anyway.

    So far I've had good luck with the Dells we get. No, I'm not advocating one company over another but just stating that the hardware we've been getting has had 64-bit drivers on the Dell Support site. I have an older x64 HP where drivers weren't hard to find either.
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