Nearly 50% of Windows 7 PCs run 64-bit versions

Microsoft said on Thursday that nearly half of all Windows 7 PCs are running 64-bit versions of the operating system.

Early indications that 64-bit adoption rate was much higher than 32 began earlier this year. Statistics, released in January, from Valve's steam gaming software, showed that 64-bit Windows 7 was popular amongst gamers. Microsoft confirmed on Thursday that as of June, 46% of all PCs worldwide running Windows 7 are running a 64-bit edition of Windows 7. "Compared to Windows Vista at 3 and a half years after launch, only 11% of PCs running Windows Vista worldwide are running 64-bit," said Microsoft blogger Brandon LeBlanc.

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 150 million licenses to date. The company is projected to sell 300 million by the end of 2010, a goal that Microsoft could easily achieve.

Windows 7 has also driven an uptake of 64-bit computing. According to ChangeBASE 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.

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 will likely be available in 2011 as 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. Technical beta testers recently received build 7601.16562.100603-1800. A public beta version will be available in July with a final release expected in September this year.

Thanks to Neowin member Mephistopheles for the news tip

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