Bill Gates once remarked “640KB of memory should be plenty enough for anybody”. Actually, I have it on good authority that he didn't say it, but let's not let that get in the way of a good story. The reason the quote has stuck is that firstly, it was a pretty plausible thing to say at the time he (allegedly) said it and, of course, it's fun to see smart people getting predictions spectacularly wrong! The same thing happened to Thomas J Watson with his famous 1943 effort "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers". Or am I getting confused with the Professor in the time travel Simpsons episode...?
The common theme is a tendency to underestimate the power and ubiquity of computers in the future. Experience teaches us that we keep on requiring bigger and better hardware. Thank you Mr Moore! [An oracle if ever there was one.]
Recently I saw an email giving the number of x64 computers in use in Mircosoft in Redmond. I had no idea they were so abundant. I believe Gartner has been recommending 64-bit purchases for corporate customers, the local computer stores are full of 'em, and admittedly Microsoft is full of techies who like nothing better than to get their hands on some cool new hardware but even so, I was still taken aback.
64-bit has been on my back burner of things to look at but with the release of XP x64, it seems clear to me that 64-bit Windows is on the verge of becoming a mainstream, pervasive technology - on the desktop and the server. The time for me to get hold of an x64 machine and check out the 64-bit version of the .NET Framework has arrived. If you're an ISV then it's probably a good idea for you to do the same. Volker's blog is the one to watch for info on 64-bit Windows. It was there I learned that Intel have just started shipping their last 32-bit only processor!