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Poll: Should Windows 9/Threshold be X64 only?

Should Windows 9/Threshold be X64 only?  

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LostCat    1,235

I really doubt it'll happen.  But I could see them stop selling 32 bit to endusers.

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Radium    126

There are so many 32-bit applications out there that are up to date and don't exist in 64-bit version as well as games that aren't too old and games that we have in our collections that we might want to play again in the future.

 

Dropping WOW64 is counterproductive. Windows is well known for backwards compatability. Dropping 32-bit IE and other built-in software, YES, if the OS is 64-bit, make all built-in software 64-bit. Some things are fundamentally different and will take a long time to port over. Not all developers have time to port old but popular apps if they don't get payed for it one more time.

The possibility to disable WOW64 could be a neat feature in certain situations (public PCs or PCs in high security networks) but they shouldn't drop it out of Windows 9 or 10.

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neufuse    3,551

Heck if you make the next version or two of windows 64bit only, their largest development suite won't work!... VS2013 and VS 2014 are x86 IDE's, sure they write x64 code, and have x64 debuggers, but the VS IDE is x86 still to this day..

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PGHammer    1,330

This. Upgrading for a 64 platform can be quite expensive and, in many cases, the performance increase just isn't enough to justify. Commercial software is expensive and to upgrade just for the sake of upgrading without a major increase of performance isn't happening.

 

In the past i had to upgrade a client of mine from Office 2007 to Office 2010 (all the workstations) because the 64 bit edition of it managed memory not only better, but used a much wider band as well, resulting in a incredible increase of performance, using the same hardware, OS and files. That was the only case i saw that it justified the use of the 64 bits version of Office. Also Microsoft recommends the use of Office 2013 32 bits and it warns that many problems can arise regarding 3rd party plugins that are 32 bit only, if using the 64 bit version of Office 2013 (that's why Office 2013 is, by default, installed in the 32 bit mode and only just before the download one can change the download into the 64 bits version).

Expensive how?  At the OS end, and in most cases even the application end, the cost difference (or even the additional cost) is nil.  Outside of the enterprise market, name ONE developer that charges additional licensing fees for the x64 version of their application compared to the x32 version.

 

Microsoft recommends the x32 version due to the developers that have failed to go x64 with their add-ons and plug-ins (which is why I am STILL horked off with the Office add-on/plug-in developer community - Microsoft itself HAS converted ALL of their own add-ons and plug-ins - including the Outlook.com Connector, which replaced the Hotmail Connector- to x64).  For stability and performance reasons, I have refused to use ANY plug-in or add-on that is x32-only - and that is since Office 2013 went RTW.  The only 32-bit add-on OR plug-in I used in Office 2010 (the original x64 productivity suite) was from Microsoft - and I was hoping that this add-on would be x64 as well.  In other words - as is the case with the x64 browser market - it's the third-party developers - NOT the browser developer itself.  One feature that used to require an add-on (bidirectional ODF and PDF conversion) no longer does in Word - and it was the ONLY program I used add-ons with outside of .Outlook.

Microsoft has basically stuck with recommending x32 because developers are continuing to drag their feet - what's keeping me horked off is that WoW64 itself is becoming the culprit FOR developer foot-dragging outside of enterprises.

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PGHammer    1,330

Heck if you make the next version or two of windows 64bit only, their largest development suite won't work!... VS2013 and VS 2014 are x86 IDE's, sure they write x64 code, and have x64 debuggers, but the VS IDE is x86 still to this day..

And why is the default IDE still x32?  Because you can run the platform as x32 (an x64 OS is still not a requirement for Visual Studio) - it has been a Windows Universal Application since VS 2010.

 

Some features DO require x64  - the Windows Phone SDK does, in fact.  Still, like Office, VS 2010 and later will install only what the customer wants (however, if you don't meet the prereqs for a feature, the installer will whack you with a penalty flag post-install - it would whack me for the lack of EPT support for the Windows Phone emulator with my Q6600, for example; however, there is no whackage for the same feature for the Pentium AE/G3258, because it supports EPT).

 

An x64 IDE is, however, included - it has been since VS 2010.  Which IDE you use depends on your target (the Windows Phone SDK uses the x64 IDE due to prereqs for the SDK itself).  For targets available in both bitnesses, you have an IDE choice to make.  However, the defaults didn't move - again, due to developer insistence.

 

So it WILL work - however, x32 targeting (from x64) won't work.

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PGHammer    1,330

There are so many 32-bit applications out there that are up to date and don't exist in 64-bit version as well as games that aren't too old and games that we have in our collections that we might want to play again in the future.

 

Dropping WOW64 is counterproductive. Windows is well known for backwards compatability. Dropping 32-bit IE and other built-in software, YES, if the OS is 64-bit, make all built-in software 64-bit. Some things are fundamentally different and will take a long time to port over. Not all developers have time to port old but popular apps if they don't get payed for it one more time.

The possibility to disable WOW64 could be a neat feature in certain situations (public PCs or PCs in high security networks) but they shouldn't drop it out of Windows 9 or 10.

The very reason you stated - developers that are getting rewarded for foot-dragging - is why WoW64 basically needs to go when feasible.  The "fundamental differences" need to be proven - however, that takes interest on the part of developers to prove it.  Taking the word of developers on this subject (or any other) is counterproductive - for both developers AND their clients - we, the user community.  We don't reward game developers for foot-dragging, do we?  Heck no - we whack the HECK out of them for even any PERCEPTION of such shenanigans.  So why should we do any different for application developers?

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Radium    126

The very reason you stated - developers that are getting rewarded for foot-dragging - is why WoW64 basically needs to go when feasible.  The "fundamental differences" need to be proven - however, that takes interest on the part of developers to prove it.  Taking the word of developers on this subject (or any other) is counterproductive - for both developers AND their clients - we, the user community.  We don't reward game developers for foot-dragging, do we?  Heck no - we whack the HECK out of them for even any PERCEPTION of such shenanigans.  So why should we do any different for application developers?

All software doesn't have to be ported to 64-bit code. It's a waste of time and is counter productive. Time better spent elsewhere.

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Praetor    988

Expensive how?  At the OS end, and in most cases even the application end, the cost difference (or even the additional cost) is nil.  Outside of the enterprise market, name ONE developer that charges additional licensing fees for the x64 version of their application compared to the x32 version.

 

Nil? Outside of the enterprise market? Geez, it feels like beating a dead stick...

The cost for the developer isn't "nil", like you said: the team must develop AND support the x64 version of the application and many times that means more time spent troubleshooting, supporting and testing; if it's a small software house the cost can be significant. So if they don't charge more for the x64 version it doesn't mean nothing, as they can charge more for the x86 and x64 versions, as a new version of the application.

 

about the "outside of the enterprise market": unless you think the world revolves around 7zip and similar, complex, mission critical must pass several accreditations and certifications, just for those binaries; in fact in my country, for example, every POS software must be certified by the government fiscal entity and not only those cost money, but it would be quite expensive to pay for a x86 and x64 version of the same app when the big majority of the market runs on x86.

 

Finally, it does cost money to develop software and if the market isn't seeing major performances / breakthrough in 64 bits field, then the adoption rate is very slow. Simple.

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LimeMaster    15,600

There are some good reasons why I voted no. I'll list them in bullet points to make it easier to read:

1) Microsoft has a big userbase so maintaining backwards compatibility is essential. Remember that 16bit apps are still supported on 32bit versions of Windows, so why remove 32bit compatibility on 64bit Windows?

2) It would cause unnecessary confusion for the average user, which is a large chunk of the userbase.

3) Not all programs would benefit from this.

4) Some older software that is no longer updated would no longer function.

5) There's no point on removing something that isn't broken.

6) Some smaller developer make their software on 32bit machines.

7) Desktop software is now considered a legacy format, so Microsoft aren't going to encourage making software 64 bit unless its to do with Modern apps, but even then they would want you to make it x86, x64 & ARM compatible.

8) Microsoft is just starting to regain users trust. It would be pointless for them to throw it down the drain again.

9) The Windows 95 disk space pie chart is still in Windows. Isn't it more important that they fix that?

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rafter109    127

NO. Surely you cannot be serious? That would simply destroy gaming on Windows.

Unless you are running 16 bit games (most people have lost interest in those titles years ago) WOW64 would still allow you to run almost any 32-bit title. I say almost any because there are some games which rely on technologies that have been long retired. Patches and alternatives do exist to solve this issue on most titles. What most people are failing to realize is that NO OS vendor can afford to completely abandon 32-bit in new distros due to the fact that 32-bit applications are too pervasive. Microsoft largely solved this problem with WOW64 which allows you to execute 32-bit binaries within a 64-bit OS with minimal overhead. I know someone will try to argue the overhead issue but the architecture in question is x86-64 which still contain the 16-bit and 32-bit instruction sets. It is purely an OS vendor decision to exclude 16-bit emulation in Windows 64. It is still possible to run 16-bit programs through the use of 3rd party emulators and considering the fact that most 16-bit programs were developed for DOS through Windows 3.1 era machines and the considerable advances that have been made in overall system performance since then, 16-bit programs often have a performance increase running in emulation under a 64-bit host OS versus runing on the hardware from the generation in which the program was designed. So in summary, anyone saying it will 'destroy this' or 'utterly break that' is simply uninformed. One day in the future even 64-bit programs will likely loose native support from OS vendors as we move to bigger and better things. In 10-20 years we may all be running 128-bit processors on a totally different architecture or maybe even quantum systems that do calculations using qubits or dare we say even qutrits.

 

EDIT: Obviously I didn't read OPs explanation. Since WoW64 would go away my above argument is largly moot.

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rafter109    127

Let me also point out to many of you who seem to misunderstand the poll's actual question and are reading too much into it. Nowhere in the poll does it say that WoW64 would go away. Nowhere does it say exclusively 64-bit. It is simply asking that considering the current practice of releasing both a 32-bit and 64-bit os, is it time to elminate the 32-bit option. To that question, I would answer "Yes - as long as WoW64 stays and is in for the long haul until businesses have migrated to purely 64-bit binaries."

 

EDIT: I stand corrected. Stupid me didn't see OPs explanation.

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Jim K    12,621

Let me also point out to many of you who seem to misunderstand the poll's actual question and are reading too much into it. Nowhere in the poll does it say that WoW64 would go away. Nowhere does it say exclusively 64-bit. It is simply asking that considering the current practice of releasing both a 32-bit and 64-bit os, is it time to elminate the 32-bit option. To that question, I would answer "Yes - as long as WoW64 stays and is in for the long haul until businesses have migrated to purely 64-bit binaries."

 

He said it in the original post...which I quote below.

 

Explain your choice.

 

X64 Means no WOW or X86 Emulation layer. Pure 64bit where 32bit apps will not run.

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rafter109    127

Heck if you make the next version or two of windows 64bit only, their largest development suite won't work!... VS2013 and VS 2014 are x86 IDE's, sure they write x64 code, and have x64 debuggers, but the VS IDE is x86 still to this day..

 

The only logical reason why the VS IDE is still 32-bit is because there is still a demand for it to be compatable with a 32-bit OS. Unfortunately, the side effect of this is that developers who are using this in a 32-bit OS can only compile 32-bit binaries causing the need for WoW64 to be extended way longer than it arguably should be.

He said it in the original post...which I quote below.

 

I stand corrected. Odd, I didn't see that when I first voted. Looks like I need to lay off the booze when posting. lol

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ThaCrip    552

it would be nice in the sense it would force people to adopt 64bit only stuff but at the same time removing all compatibility of 32bit apps/games etc seems like a bad idea.

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rafter109    127

To do this in Windows 9/Threshold would be asinine. All parties need ample opportunity make the necessary coding changes, investments in software etc. Understanably this will eventually happen, a reasonable future date needs to be set with clear communication to everyone who would be affected. I would say 10 years would not be unreasonable as long as there is a massive communication campaign to spread the word about who will be and how they will be affected.

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The_Decryptor    1,105

The only logical reason why the VS IDE is still 32-bit is because there is still a demand for it to be compatable with a 32-bit OS. Unfortunately, the side effect of this is that developers who are using this in a 32-bit OS can only compile 32-bit binaries causing the need for WoW64 to be extended way longer than it arguably should be.

...

They don't need to be 64bit, the most resource intensive thing they do is intellisense and that doesn't really need a 64bit address space.

The actual resource intensive stuff is the compilers, and they're already 64bit.

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PGHammer    1,330

To do this in Windows 9/Threshold would be asinine. All parties need ample opportunity make the necessary coding changes, investments in software etc. Understanably this will eventually happen, a reasonable future date needs to be set with clear communication to everyone who would be affected. I would say 10 years would not be unreasonable as long as there is a massive communication campaign to spread the word about who will be and how they will be affected.

And ten years - the expected gap between Vista's RTW and Threshold's RTW - is not long enough?  (This is assuming that Threshold launches in 2017.)  It will be ten years since Vista took x64 mainstream in 2017.  It will have been seven years since Office 2010 x64.  More x64-exclusive games have released in the past year alone than x64 games in all previous years put together.  It's not that x64 operating systems - for desktops and portables - don't sell - since Vista, Windows x64 has, in fact, outsold the x32 version - period.  Office 2010 x64 outsold 2010 x32 - 2013 saw a repeat of that - and this is despite the still-remaining plug-in issues with third-party developers.  (Thank goodness that Microsoft DID manage to get x64 versions of all their OWN add-ins and plug-ins ready to rock as of Office 2013.)  If you have any interest in Windows development, you're decidedly clued-in, as it's been a non-insignificant part of most MSDN whitepapers since Vista.  In fact, it isn't USER-insistence on stalling - the insistence is coming from developers.  I have no idea whether it is inability, or straightforward unwillingness - however, the stalling needs to cease.  (And I am NOT referring to Windows alone, either - the same rather blunt message should go out to Linux developers, Apple developers, and even - don't faint - Android developers.)

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PGHammer    1,330

All software doesn't have to be ported to 64-bit code. It's a waste of time and is counter productive. Time better spent elsewhere.

I've heard it and heard it - I want data/evidence.  I refuse to take ANY developer's word for it - because, in all too many cases, that word has turned out to be worth exactly zilch.  Did I say it would be easy?  Not only no, but HECK no.  There IS a learning curve, even if not especially, for developers that have never written an x64 application.  However, the "it's not worth it" spiel has been ranted against when other developers said it - including developers as widely different as Microsoft and EA.  If Microsoft and EA can both be wrong - in the same year (this one), how can any developer's word be trusted?  (Mozilla ITSELF nearly managed to get ModernUI and x64 versions of FIREFOX out the door - and this year - and it wasn't coding problems that forced either effort to stall.  Google DID get x64 Chrome into beta - for Windows; in fact, it is available today.  PopCap, of all developers, wrote an x64-ONLY game - and for Windows; it's not even the only EA Partner developer to do so this year.  I give advice  - however, I don't want anyone I give my advice to to rely on it - I want them to take the time and gather their own data.  (That's right - not only don't take others' word for it, don't even take MY word for it.)

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astropheed    2,168

There is no (zero, zilch, nadda) incentive to push a 64-bit only environment; 32-bit is still wonderfully capable for the vast majority of applications, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. It seems like most people here want this just because "it's 2014" (don't get me started on using the year as an argument). It's those very same people who don't truly understand the ramifications of such a move or what 64-bit even means.

 

So, I voted "no"; although I see no harm in Windows 9+ being a 64-bit exclusive, I foresee massive problems by removing the 32-bit emulation layer. Don't do it.

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The_Decryptor    1,105

I think for most people the motivation is so that there isn't a "* 32" next to the applications in the task manager.

I've actually got a 64bit text editor installed that I know can open files larger than 4GB, but I avoid doing so since for it to layout the UI it needs to know the length and width of the document (line wrapping and so forth), and it takes ages on a large document. RAM usage isn't everything.

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macoman    1,511

I think we are not ready for a pure 64bit Windows. There are too many popular software out there today that are still in 32bit... Maybe in a few more years, pure 64bit OS will make sense.

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The Ramen Master    1

Manufacturer's that build cheap laptops need 32bit for 2gb Ram support. Otherwise they would just install and sell Chrome OS. 

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Malisk    142

No, I see no reason for them to limit themselves to that.

 

The x86 emulation layer for x86 applications won't slow down or impact 64-bit apps on a 64-bit OS. 32 bit support apparently doesn't slow down 64 bit hardware adoption either, since basically all new desktops and laptops today are 64 bit.

 

 

So, in the end, I can only see a feature that can be useful at times, and needlessly restrictive if not there.

 

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Skiver    1,943

64 bit only - Yep fine

64 bit without WOW < nope

 

Software hasn't all gone native 64bit and until the majority catches up, there needs to be support for it.

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PGHammer    1,330

Manufacturer's that build cheap laptops need 32bit for 2gb Ram support. Otherwise they would just install and sell Chrome OS. 

Name an OEM that sells laptops with just 2 GB of RAM with Windows (any version) on it.  (Besides, 2 GB isn't the floor for any x64 desktop version of Windows.  It is barely the floor for SERVER versions of Windows - which have been x64-only since Server 2008 - but the official floor for x64 desktop versions is half that - 1 GB of RAM.)

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