Windows, games brace for powerful chip

The Athlon 64 chip from Advanced Micro Devices is coming out toward the end of September, and software that takes full advantage of the chip won't be that far behind.

Microsoft will release a version of Windows optimized for the chip in the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2004, Marty Seyer, vice president and general manager of AMD's microprocessor business unit, said in an interview this week. The beta version of the operating system will become available in "late Q3," he added. That's slightly later than the midyear release of the beta Microsoft had promised earlier, but the estimated release schedule of the final version conforms to the expectations of most analysts.

Microsoft declined to give a timetable for the final release of the product, but it reiterated that the beta would come out "toward the middle of the year." The Redmond, Washington-based software developer has said it will offer desktop and server versions of the 64-bit Windows for the AMD chip. Game developers will also be coming out with software tweaked for the chip. Epic Games, for example, will come out with a patch for the 32-bit version of "Unreal Tournament 2003" that will allow the game to take full advantage of the processor's 64-bit capabilities.

News source: C|Net News.com

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