64 bit Computing is Here


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64 bit computing has been around for decades in many forms, has been gaining consumer popularity in recent years and could be the desktop computer standard very soon.

64 Bit Hardware
 The foundation for 64 bit computing is at the microprocessor.  For PC 64 bit processors can represent and calculate larger numbers than 32 bit or prior versions. 

In the 1960s 64 bit processors were used in the super computers of the time.  In the 1990s more workstations and server had 64 bit capability, even the Nintendo 64 used a 64 bit processor RISC based.
In the 21st century Processors made by Intel, IBM, and AMD have had 64 bit capabilities.  Many Intel, IBM and AMD have been used for servers and workstations and started to trickle down consumer level with Apple G5, Playstation 3 and now Intel based Apple and Intel/AMD based PCs.  So although the processor technology was available 64 bit computing has had a slow implementation rate among consumers in the beginning 21st century is not because of hardware but software.

64 Bit Software
Given the right platform, marketing, and consumer reviews, software can boost implementation of any platform including 64 bit and software availability and variety is now more valued than the hardware capability it resides on.  Two examples of this are in video gaming and mobile communication.  In video gaming the nintendo wii has accelled past the xbox 360 and Playstation 3 because of price and the software capabilities.  Even with the most powerful 64 bit Playstation 3 it still trails behind xbox 360 because of price and size of the software library.  In mobile communication, although the Apple iphone has been over priced and lower technology than it's competitors the poularity of it's itunes app store has allowed it great sucess in the U.S. market.

64 bit revolution
As we are in the second half of 2009 and near the end of the first decade in this new millennium, a revolution will occur very soon, 64 bit computing will be standard on the consumer PC platform.  Windows XP one of the longest running and most popular PC operating systems was the start of Microsoft's entry into 64bit computing Mac OS X for G5 was the entry for Apple.  With the failure in popularity for Windows Vista, Vista also brought consumers 1 step closer into 64 bit computing.  Along with the help of Intel Core 2 Duo and Intel processors for the Apple G5, adoption of the intel multicore processors have also brought with the 64 bit computing capability.  The software was lacking with Windows XP 64 but with the price of ram dropping, and 4gb because affordable to many PC consumers, the 4gb limit of the 32 bit Windows Operating system has led to the rise of popularity in 64 bit which is capable of addressing more than 4gb of RAM. 

Currently, in the last days of Windows Vista the Intel I7, many consumer systems that come with 6gb or more run a 64bit version of this software Windows Vista that has 32 bit emulation, meaning it can run most of today's 32 bit programs.  Windows 7 will have this same capability that started in Windows XP 64 bit, and backwards compatibility always helps to gain consumer confidence and market share in the product. 

But with Vista 64 bit, Internet explorer 64 bit on the market, Microsoft will be in good position for Windows 7 64 bit.  Other software to have 64 bit available soon is Microsoft Office 64bit, which may or may not make as big of an impact with Open Office .org and Google docs for competition.  Microsoft needs it's Silverlight and Adobe Flash to be 64 bit compatible for it to gain popularity with net users.  With Implementation of 64 bit OS soon all mainstream sofware companies will need to offer 64 bit versions of thier software to utilize more of the CPU, more RAM, and be competitive for this next progression in personal computing.             

Consumers Options

Consumers Now have the option for migrating to 64 bit without sacrificing or paying alot of overhead to do so.  If in the market for a new computer and within their budget, select a system with a multicore (64 bit) processor and more than 4gb of RAM, because those computers already have 64 bit OS to utilize the more than 4gb of RAM.  When Windows 7 is released, consumers should also purchase the 64 bit version (if hardware is capable to run it) or a new computer with a 64 bit version of Windows 7.  Apple G5 OS X users already own a 64 bit system so it'll be up to the software developers to keep ultilzing the hardware to it's maximum capacity.   

Windows 64 bit software compatibility Here:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/Default.aspx?type=Software

 to learn more about 64 bit history read here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/64-bit

Details about 64 bit processors are here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/64-bit