Six months on and Windows 7 is driving uptake of 64-bit computing

Today marks the six month anniversary of the launch of Windows 7 on October 22, 2009. Six months on and Windows 7 is a winner for Microsoft. Some organizations are also claiming the success of Windows 7 has seen a massive uptake of 64-bit computing.

Microsoft's success with Windows 7 began before the product was even widely available. Released in October 2009, the operating system has received praise from consumers, businesses and the media. In November 2009, Windows 7 managed to surpass Apple's Snow Leopard market share in just two weeks. In early February it was revealed that Windows 7 had reached 10% market share in just three months. To further cement its success, Microsoft announced that Windows 7 is the fastest selling operating system in history, selling over 90 million licenses to date. The company is projected to sell 300 million by the end of 2010, a goal that Microsoft could easily achieve.

Greg Lambert, Chief Technical Architect at ChangeBASE AOK, works with big enterprise businesses and supports their Windows 7 migration plans. Lambert claims there are two big drivers for the uptake-levels of Windows 7; the first being ease and speed of migration and the second is the ability to future proof management of applications. “We have also seen that Windows 7 is driving the wide-scale take-up of 64-bit computing. Many of our customers are worried that they will have application compatibility problems with an upgrade to a 64-bit environment. However after analysing their application estate they realise these issues can be automatically addressed which means they can opt for the more powerful 64-bit option," Lambert said in a statement to Neowin.

According to ChangeBASE's research, conducted with senior IT decision makers, more than 65% of businesses hoped to migrated to Windows 7 within 12 months of its release. Over 50% of those migrating will be choosing the 64-bit route. The large uptake of the 64-bit option will please the Windows team at Microsoft and may be a stepping stone to the end of life for Microsoft's 32-bit Windows operating system. Microsoft phased out 32-bit Server operating systems after the release of Windows Server 2008.

Screenshots of a Windows 7 post RTM build showed up on the web in February, fueling speculation that Microsoft is compiling early Windows 8 builds. The successor to Windows 7 is expected to be available in 2011. An ex-Microsoft worker penned July 2011 as the RTM date for Windows 8.

Microsoft is currently readying its first Service Pack for Windows 7. A beta version is expected in June with a public release in September this year.

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5 Years ago I moved over to 64-Bit and I would never turn back. Windows Vista didn't push the boundaries enough with 64-Bit and frankly did not cut the mustard at all. So to speak... But Windows 7 with 64-Bit is a new frontier and the way forward for 64-Bit applications. Office 2010 64-bit and runs like a dream. Adobe CS5 range 64-Bit, 64-Bit gaming, what can I say it's such a difference and performance is better and smoother. Granted people will disagree, OK updating all your drivers is a pain in the butt. Does it really matter. On my last mini upgrade I spent £ 1,183.99 and that was just a mini overhaul. Not forgetting I upgraded my soundcard and bought a NAS server. I like to move with the times and I admit I spend money on technology like it's going out of fashion. but 64-Bit processing is the way forward.

I don't get it. Everyone just move on the 64bit. This is the future. Why would you want to hang on to the past. Its like 32bit is like XP. Its good, but its almost outdated now, and people should move on so that developers don't have to waste time creating a 32bit version.

^ No one is bragging about 64bit. They are just stating it. Simple? As the number of people upgrading to newer technologies increase, more will be the new innovations.

So do UPGRADE, people.

i am willing to bet that all of the people that are complaining about 32 bit windows 7 are gaining only 1%-2% better performance as a whole when bragging about their 64 bit win 7.... its like have a race car but only ever going to 7-11 for milk.

Most processors (if not all) after the Pentium 4 are 64-bit compatible. Not every god forsaken system has to be compatible with new operating systems. 7 is better than XP yet most businesses and users still use XP... that just shows they don't care about new features or modernization. If that is the case, then so be it, let those who want to be up-to-date to stay up-to-date with the latest hardware advancements.

7 computers running on my home network and all are running Windows 7 Pro 64bit. All are running great and no compatibiltiy problems at all. I was even shocked to see that a 12 year old raid card I had installed with 64 bit drivers and never had to go to the manufacturer site.

I think a lot of people get confused between "If you have 4 GB of ram you need 64 bit to access ALL of it" and "you NEED 4 GB of ram to run 64 bit". It's a shame too. Windows 7 (64bit) is a great operating system and even if you don't NEED it, it IS the future.

I am surrounded my friends who have "Gone Mac" but since Windows 7 added to my XBOX 360 Media Center Streaming, Zune, my Windows 6.5.3 phone and the future Windows Phone 7, I don't think I'll be going that direction anytime soon. And oh, got 64-bit Win 7 on all of my machines!

J400uk said,
64-bit is taking of because its now installed by default on the majority of OEM home systems, simple as.

Really? Not sure where you shop or look at, but I know for sure Dell installs the 32bit version and if you want 64, you will have to do that yourself. 64bit is nice, but there are still things that will not work in that mode.

Plus, with 7, the software package includes both 64 and 32 CDs.

techbeck said,

64bit is nice, but there are still things that will not work in that mode.

Plus, with 7, the software package includes both 64 and 32 CDs.


Things? you mean very very rare hardware that still dosn't have 64 bit drivers? Meaning... almost no new computer hardware taht's been put out over the last 3 years?

techbeck said,

Really? Not sure where you shop or look at, but I know for sure Dell installs the 32bit version and if you want 64, you will have to do that yourself. 64bit is nice, but there are still things that will not work in that mode.

Plus, with 7, the software package includes both 64 and 32 CDs.


Dells support for x64 has been BS for a long time. First they had people using XP x64 who had no business using it, then they wouldn't even offer 64 bit Vista. I would never buy Dell because of this whole mess.

HP defaults to 64 on most systems.

Apart from netbooks all the dell oem systems i've handled in the last 6 - 12 months have been x64. Wake up FFS, the only reason its getting popular is OEMs are pre-installing.

For as critical as I am usually am about MS and Windows, I must admiit, I do believe they got it right this time!! Even the 32 bit version, which is all I'm capable of running here.

Still love my computers with XP Pro on them though!!

Working in the Public Sector (ICT) has shown me that whist I love 64-bit some places its just not ready. At my workplace we deployed 32-bit but next migration i would say 64-bit would be the way to go.

One thing i love about 64-bit Windows is the kernel protection and required driver signing but some drivers out there are pretty woeful.

Why? Not everything is compatible with 64-bit technology i.e. Home Printers, Scanners, SoftGrid (App-V)*until recently*. You have to think about how 64 bit will impact support and problems that arise.

Firewater said,
Working in the Public Sector (ICT) has shown me that whist I love 64-bit some places its just not ready. At my workplace we deployed 32-bit but next migration i would say 64-bit would be the way to go.

One thing i love about 64-bit Windows is the kernel protection and required driver signing but some drivers out there are pretty woeful.

Why? Not everything is compatible with 64-bit technology i.e. Home Printers, Scanners, SoftGrid (App-V)*until recently*. You have to think about how 64 bit will impact support and problems that arise.

I think the same, also:

pro of 64bits:
-speed increase (5%-30%).
-Able to map over 4gb of ram.

cons of 64bits:
-Incompatible with some application and hardware.
-64bits applications use more memory.
-Not all application are available for 64bits.
-Not all applications are optimized for 64bits, in fact, some applications are slower in 64bits than in 32bits.
-The migration from 32bits to 64bits involve some hidden costs.

So, it is fine for a powerful rig (4gb or more of ram) but most machines are still running with 1gb -2gb ram.

Edited by Brony, Apr 22 2010, 2:47pm :

Magallanes said,

I think the same, also:

pro of 64bits:
-speed increase (5%-30%).
-Able to map over 4gb of ram.

cons of 64bits:
-Incompatible with some application and hardware.
-64bits applications use more memory.
-Not all application are available for 64bits.
-Not all applications are optimized for 64bits, in fact, some applications are slower in 64bits than in 32bits.
-The migration from 32bits to 64bits involve some hidden costs.

So, it is fine for a powerful rig (4gb or more of ram) but most machines are still running with 1gb -2gb ram.

You bring up very good points, however, since Vista 64bit received mainstream support and Windows 7 uses the same driver / software model as Vista, a lot of the pro's are significantly less common now then they were a few years ago. However, I have to say your con's are very true to XP 64bit since most companies don't want to touch it.

Edited by etempest, Apr 22 2010, 2:17pm :

Well Microsoft have done a very good job of moving their server product line over to 64bit. It's been incredibly controlled and painless. This feels like it's echo'd onto the desktop, as i have been running 64bit windows 7 since release and ive yet to have a problem. All software i use (and some is pretty old, delphi 6 etc.) has worked without a hitch.

64bit processors have been out in the market for quite some time now, which is why i hope that Microsoft pushes Windows 8 as a 64bit only OS and really drive computers in that direction. It will mean better support from both third party software and hardware.

And they should, as long as the CPU is capable.

And despite some people insisting on also requiring 4 GB+ in addition, I respectfully disagree with that additional stipulation, because, for most users (and most uses) the additional stipulation is pointless at best, and smacks of elitism at worst. As long as you have an x64 CPU and are not disqualified for reasons of unsupported hardware or applications, even (in some cases, especially) if you have less than 4 GB, I'd suggest moving to x64. I moved to x64 for reasons of increased security (the most troublesome non-viral vulnerabilities get nowhere on an x64-based OS) and stability (the WOW64 thunk layer adds additional protection from misbehaving 32-bit applications, such as browser plug-ins, for VERY little performance penalty).

PGHammer said,
And they should, as long as the CPU is capable.
Absolutely.

And despite some people insisting on also requiring 4 GB+
The PC I built for my daughter only has 2GB of RAM and Windows 7 64-bit. There's absolutely no basis to have 4GB+ in order to use a 64-bit OS.

Edited by iamwhoiam, Apr 22 2010, 1:13pm :

"...To further cement its success, Microsoft announced that Windows 7 is the fastest selling operating system in history..."
I would go a step further and say is the BEST system in history.
Cheers to MS to finally catch up with their miserable past mistakes.
Just hope Win7Mo will be just as good.
And btw, 64bits all the way...it's XXI century fgs.

Frylock86 said,

Both desktop and laptop are running 7 x64.

I have it installled on the lappy (have yet to upgrade on the desktop) but so far in the several months I've had it running I have experienced no problems. Simply awesome.

Just upgraded to 64-bit Win7 a couple of days ago. Didn't see the point on old PC (2GB RAM), but it was a must for this new build (6GB RAM).

I remember when we got a computer years ago and it had one of the first AMD 64 chips and was looking forward to 64-bit Windows. I think that PC got replaced before XP Pro 64-bit even came out. Ah well, we're here now!

I love x64 bit computing. Unfortunately, I have almost zilch programs taking advantage of it. Just Office, Adobe Acrobat and WinRAR

Driver support is fantastic btw.

Various 64bit stuff I use : 7zip (better than winrar imo, more formats and _free_), locate32, a few games, Paint .Net , ComicRack

Stuff I'd love to have - lots in the adobe CS5 suite when people can get their hands on it, maya, modo, 3ds.

Billus said,
I love x64 bit computing. Unfortunately, I have almost zilch programs taking advantage of it. Just Office, Adobe Acrobat and WinRAR

Driver support is fantastic btw.


Among those that don't are programs that can easily take advantage of the extra memory provided. Just takes a compiler flag. So while they may not be fully using x64, they're definately using it.

Good to hear, with 64-bit ms office just around the corner and benefiting from the increased performance, people really should start migrating to 64-bit if they haven't done it already.

64-bit should be the only one out there by now (minus low end systems - netbooks, embedded,etc)... shame that MS hasn't pushed it as hard as they could of if there are drivers missing still, its not MS's fault at this point in any way

neufuse said,
64-bit should be the only one out there by now (minus low end systems - netbooks, embedded,etc)... shame that MS hasn't pushed it as hard as they could of if there are drivers missing still, its not MS's fault at this point in any way

No, reason being, too many older computers that don't have 64-bit capabilities run Vista and 7 just fine. Just because you have a 64-bit capable processor, doesn't mean everyone does.

Edited by Azies, Apr 22 2010, 12:31pm :

Azies said,

No, reason being, too many older computers that don't have 64-bit capabilities

I'll reply to that with...Then those people should stay with the older operating system(s) that was/were designed for the H/W they have. If some only have older 32-bit capable machines then they need stay with the older 32-bit OS and let the rest of the world move on.

iamwhoiam said,

I'll reply to that with...Then those people should stay with the older operating system(s) that was/were designed for the H/W they have.

You can say that, but the truth is that Windows 7 was designed to run on older hardware as well. I had a Core Duo notebook that ran Windows 7 really good. As a matter of fact it ran it better than Vista that it came with. Why would Microsoft want to drop support of older hardware when they can easily still support it.

Ottsca said,

You can say that, but the truth is that Windows 7 was designed to run on older hardware as well. I had a Core Duo notebook that ran Windows 7 really good. As a matter of fact it ran it better than Vista that it came with. Why would Microsoft want to drop support of older hardware when they can easily still support it.

at some point you have to cut it off...... or else you will be supporting old hardware forever

neufuse said,

at some point you have to cut it off...... or else you will be supporting old hardware forever

And that's exactly what got Microsoft in trouble with Vista.

Azies said,

No, reason being, too many older computers that don't have 64-bit capabilities

You know what, Microsoft dumped support for 16-bit CPU a while ago... And they will have to stop support for 32-bit CPU someday. People stuck with 32-bit CPU will be able to work with the last 32-bit Windows OS that MS will provide them. That's it....

QuarterSwede said,

And that's exactly what got Microsoft in trouble with Vista.

It wasn't MS's fault that hardware vendors didn't support Vista very well at first. . Of course, I don't buy crap hardware so everything worked great on Vista.

Ottsca said,
I had a Core Duo notebook that ran Windows 7 really good.


The Core Duo (along with the Pentium D and most Pentium 4's are 64-bit capable as well. The only hardware that's not 64-bit capable is pre-Pentium 4, which would struggle to run Windows 7 + Aero at all.

It would surprise me if they do away with 32-bit with Windows 8... they already released Windows Server 2008 R2 as x64 only, and workstation products usually lag server by one release so it's only logical.

Edited by SkinAddict, Apr 22 2010, 4:48pm :

vaximily said,

The Core Duo (along with the Pentium D and most Pentium 4's are 64-bit capable as well. The only hardware that's not 64-bit capable is pre-Pentium 4, which would struggle to run Windows 7 + Aero at all.

No, my P4 2.8Ghz (socket 478) is 32bit.

TruckWEB said,
You know what, Microsoft dumped support for 16-bit CPU a while ago... And they will have to stop support for 32-bit CPU someday. People stuck with 32-bit CPU will be able to work with the last 32-bit Windows OS that MS will provide them. That's it....

Yes, but it is still way too soon to drop support. 32-bit computers are still very common and not that old. They may be old for us techies but for the average user they aren't.

Edited by jordan., Apr 23 2010, 5:27am :

vaximily said,


The Core Duo (along with the Pentium D and most Pentium 4's are 64-bit capable as well. The only hardware that's not 64-bit capable is pre-Pentium 4, which would struggle to run Windows 7 + Aero at all.

It would surprise me if they do away with 32-bit with Windows 8... they already released Windows Server 2008 R2 as x64 only, and workstation products usually lag server by one release so it's only logical.

Most Pentium 4s are not 64-bit capable.

neufuse said,

at some point you have to cut it off...... or else you will be supporting old hardware forever

precisely has anyone here taken a peruse through the drivers directory have you seen how much old crap is still supported in there