Microsoft has just announced that Windows XP Professional x64 has been RTM. MSDN subscribers can download ISO files of the RTM build immediately, while the rest of us will have to wait till x64 becomes commercially available in late April. Microsoft still plans to offer a special program which will allow legitimately purchased copies of 32-bit XP Professional to be traded in for copies of the new 64-bit variant.
It will be interesting to see what final software and hardware support is like in x64. Paul Thurrott extensively reviewed x64 RC2 in late February, stressing that 32-bit software support was less than stellar. ”Software compatibility in XP x64, currently, is a disaster. Don't get me wrong: Most 32-bit applications do indeed install and run on XP x64 just fine. But I suspect that most people who try out this system over the next several months will be irritated to find that one of more crucial applications will not install at all, and that alone will give many a bad experience. Most of them, I suspect, will run right back to XP 32-bit.” Stay with Neowin as we look into software compatibility and performance issues with XP x64 RTM.
XP x64 is expected to yield a performance increase of around 35% to native x64 applications. (Generic 32-bit applications should see no performance change.) Microsoft will be launching XP x64 at this years WinHEC conference in Seattle (April 25-27) where it also plans to debut a new developer preview build of Windows Longhorn.
View: Microsoft MSDN