Is 64-bit Vista ready for take off?

For many moons, I've been raising the issue of how people get to 64-bit Windows 7, which is a big compatibility shift from 32-bit Windows XP. The obvious answer is via Vista, but is that 32-bit Vista and/or 64-bit Vista? The price includes both, so it's up to you.

Initially, Vista was a bit short of drivers, or else had some bad drivers. That made 32-bit Vista the obvious choice for most people, because 64-bit drivers were even rarer. The same thing applied to software compatibility, only more so, because while it does run 32-bit programs, 64-bit Vista is much less forgiving about rubbish programming.

Now it looks as though the dramatic improvements in Vista drivers etc could be feeding through into the 64-bit version (possibly with a bit of help from the Windows Server market, which is now almost all 64-bit). Anyway, according to Chris Flores on the Vista team's blog.

View: Full blog post @ The Guardian

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Off topic a little but I finally figured out why Vista gets a bad wrap. It is stupid users. I can't tell you how many times people at my company bitch about Office 2007 but they call it Vista. If they can't figure out how to do something in Office because MS obfuscated the toolbars, they say, "Vista Sucks". Or if Office locks up they say, "This new Vista sucks". It trips me out. Or someone will say, "How come my new computer has Vista, doesn't Vista have problems". I say "No problems just hype". They say "well my husbands company has all kinds of problems". I say, "With what, incompetent IT departments?".

It kind of reminds me of politics. People don't think for them self's (or think at all for that matter), they just rely on other people's or the media's views.

(ermax said @ #16)
Off topic a little but I finally figured out why Vista gets a bad wrap. It is stupid users. I can't tell you how many times people at my company bitch about Office 2007 but they call it Vista. If they can't figure out how to do something in Office because MS obfuscated the toolbars, they say, "Vista Sucks". Or if Office locks up they say, "This new Vista sucks". It trips me out. Or someone will say, "How come my new computer has Vista, doesn't Vista have problems". I say "No problems just hype". They say "well my husbands company has all kinds of problems". I say, "With what, incompetent IT departments?".

It kind of reminds me of politics. People don't think for them self's (or think at all for that matter), they just rely on other people's or the media's views.

100% AGREED!!

AGREED++ 100%

I run Vista 32-Bit on a 4 and a 6 year old computer they both run great.
I also run Vista 64-Bit on my new Laptop, works perfect and runs fast, even on Max Battery Uses (Power saver) Mode.
I paid about $275 1.5 years ago to upgrade my 4 year old PC, and $250 this year for my 6 year old PC, to make them Vista worthy. Honestly they both run better then my 1 year old PC @ work with Vista on it... (Business PCs blah...)

4 year old PC:
Vista Ultimate 32-Bit
2 GB RAM
512 Radeon X1650 AGP
250 SATA 7200 HDD
Athlon XP 3000+

6 year old PC:
Vista Home Premium 32-Bit (Used Licence off my Notebook after upgrading to 64-Bit Vista)
2 GB RAM
512 Radeon X1650 AGP
160 PATA 7200 HDD
Athlon XP 2200+

Notebook:
Vista Home Premium 64-Bit
4 GB RAM
128 GeForce Go 7150M
200 SATA 7200 HDD
Turion 64 X2 2.0

Everytime I have to work on a XP machine @ work I get annoyed... such an antiquated OS (give it up, please...)

PS: I run Office 2007 Home on all 3 PCs...

Vista Trivia: I used my Ultimate DVD to install Home Premium on my older PC after finding out all Vista DVDs are the same... (activated flawlessly)

64bit should definately be mainstream for Windows 7. Majority of software companies are now starting to support 64-bit. Just need to wait for game developers to follow...

Anything that had 32bit vista drivers also had 64bit. It's been fine since release. I have been running it since then with no compatibility issues whatsoever.

using vista 64 for 8 months now, will never go back neither to xp or vista 32, none of them runs like vista 64 on my hardware.

i think if you have the right hardware to run 64 and you arent, you wasted your money, instead you should have stayed with your old pc and stay with xp.

the only incompatibility so far, i cant run kingpin: life of crime.

the other day i installed xp on another hard drive and mannnnnn was it so slow compared to vista on the same computer, total crap.

I made the v32u to v64u switch some time ago now, and have zero regrets. It is the best OS MS has put out to date short of 2008 Server which I keep hearing runs better than v64u, even with all the regular Vista Ultimate services and eye candy enabled.

Any incredibly rare need to run old apps/games is entirely covered by VM's or dosbox.

I switched to Vista 64 (from 32) not too long ago. I have one issue where no burning software can use the SPTI Windows drivers to find compatible drives. I can work around it by installing software that uses its own such as CloneDVD etc. I wouldn't blame MS for this though, its my cruddy MOBO manufacture.

I was fortunate enough to have a quadcore, 4 gigs of ram and my peripherals all had working 64 bit drivers. I made the switch a month ago and will never go back as well. I've had no issues at all. Anybody with compatible hardware and peripherals should at least consider making the switch.

I was certainly surprised by the difference in speed from my hardware in using 32bit to 64... i will definetly never go back to 32bit.

I only use 32 bit on one of my machines now, and that is simply due to a compatability issue with Microsoft Office (there is no OneNote printer driver available for x64, which means you lose the "Print to Onenote" function, which is fairly important on a tablet pc).

Other than that, it's 64 bit all the way. As soon as large OEMs start including 64 bit by default, we should see a smooth transition.

I've been using Vista Ultimate 64-bit edition ever since Big Bill gave me a free copy for participating in the beta program. I haven't looked back. Every game I buy now works on it, there are just a few old legacy games that were designed for Win98 that I'm having trouble with... Star Trek: Armada II for instance. Every compatibility mode I try results in the game crashing and sending an error report to MS. Oh well.

You know what, send those error reports. MS does pay attention to them. Just look at how many "performance and reliability updates" they have released to hack around broken legacy software and keep them running. You might just see a fix for your game too if there are enough reports to deem the issue significant.

(Nave said @ #2.1)
You know what, send those error reports. MS does pay attention to them. Just look at how many "performance and reliability updates" they have released to hack around broken legacy software and keep them running. You might just see a fix for your game too if there are enough reports to deem the issue significant.

I do, in fact I set it up to submit them and send additional information automatically. Usually the service works well, but recently I've had two blue screens which sent 2 error reports, but I didn't get any indication what caused them. Usually it comes back to being a driver problem, but silence this time.

I believe it is; I will never go back to a 32-bit OS. Vista 64 is the first 64-bit OS that is truly ready for the mainstream market, especially with todays Dual-Core 64 bit CPUs. There's really no excuse for using 32-bit. Maybe if it's popular enough Microsoft will abandon 32-bit for Windows 7. Now that would be a step in the right direction!

There's really no excuse for using 32-bit.

Compatibility is the ONLY excuse. However, I would love to see Windows 7 be 64 bit only. If you want the latest OS, you need a 64 bit CPU. I don't think slowing progress because some can't afford four year old parts is the way to go.

Vista 64 is the first 64-bit OS that is truly ready for the mainstream market, especially with todays Dual-Core 64 bit CPUs.

Well - for PC users maybe!

(Chicane-UK said @ #1.3)

Well - for PC users maybe!

You have a point. It's worked out very well for Apple when they decided to go fully 64 bit. Consumers don't have to sit and ponder, "Do I go with 32 or 64 bit?" If you're out looking for a totally modern operating system, chances are you have the hardware to do so.

Even 32 bit Windows XP has legacy 16-bit hardware support; although I'm not sure if that was included in Vista. I suppose legacy support in 64-bit Vista and Windows 7 should solve any transition problems, as we already have 32-bit software mode in Vista x64.

(RAID 0 said @ #1.4)
You have a point. It's worked out very well for Apple when they decided to go fully 64 bit.

I may be misremembering, but I'm not sure Apple is truly fully 64-bit yet.

(Neobond said @ #1.5)
Even 32 bit Windows XP has legacy 16-bit hardware support; although I'm not sure if that was included in Vista. I suppose legacy support in 64-bit Vista and Windows 7 should solve any transition problems, as we already have 32-bit software mode in Vista x64.

Not sure about XP 64-bit, but Vista 64-bit has no 16-bit support. I think the technical challenges of back-supporting two legacy processor architectures are just too great.

Remember 32-bit operating systems emulate 16-bit, and 64-bit operating systems emulate 32-bit. Having 64-bit windows emulating 32-bit windows emulating 16-bit windows would be too hard. Besides, 16-bit is so old now, anyone interested in going 64-bit is highly unlikely to have any 16-bit software.

(Kirkburn said @ #1.6)

I may be misremembering, but I'm not sure Apple is truly fully 64-bit yet.

I think the OS is but not all the Apps, Pretty sure thats what Snow Leopard next year is for.

(RAID 0 said @ #1.1)
There's really no excuse for using 32-bit.

Compatibility is the ONLY excuse. However, I would love to see Windows 7 be 64 bit only. If you want the latest OS, you need a 64 bit CPU. I don't think slowing progress because some can't afford four year old parts is the way to go.

I'd also like to see Win7 as 64-bit only. The processors capable of running it smoothly will be 64-bit anyway so why even bother with the 32-bit version?

Another benefit would be that developers would only have to make one set of drivers/software. Many audio interface manufacturers are still especially bad at providing 64-bit drivers for their hardware. With Vista out for well over 1½ years now, there's no excuse for having only beta drivers or no drivers for 64-bit Vista, especially considering that the same drivers will most likely also work on Win7.

(RAID 0 said @ #1.1)
There's really no excuse for using 32-bit.

Compatibility is the ONLY excuse. However, I would love to see Windows 7 be 64 bit only. If you want the latest OS, you need a 64 bit CPU. I don't think slowing progress because some can't afford four year old parts is the way to go.

I agree, especially in light of the fact that most home users tend to only upgrade when they go and buy a new PC anyway thus they will have no real compatibility issues to worry about besides maybe any printers they own. I'm sure most businesses would stand to gain from x64 too, or at least have nothing to lose. By the time the systems acually hit x64 processors will have been available for about 6 or so years now so theres no excuse not to make the jump IMHO and even now Vistas x64 compatibility seems pretty solid for me.

(RAID 0 said @ #1.4)

You have a point. It's worked out very well for Apple when they decided to go fully 64 bit. Consumers don't have to sit and ponder, "Do I go with 32 or 64 bit?" If you're out looking for a totally modern operating system, chances are you have the hardware to do so.

The first gen MacBooks are only 32-bit. People seem to forget how shortly we've had 64-bit mobile processors from Intel.

(Chicane-UK said @ #1.3)
Well - for PC users maybe!


Oh, hmm, i must have slept through the time when Macs started being considered mainstream. If they were mainstream, they'd have to start bashing themselves.