Everyone is all about working hard on 64 bit compatible software. With Linux and Windows both heading for the 64 bit world, we have to ask ourselves if it will just be the closed source world that is getting ready for the 64 bit revolution or if Open Source will be right along side of them. So far, it looks like it will be 64 bit computing across the board.
With microprocessors that can execute both 32-bit and 64-bit code natively available in mass quantities, their volumes growing, pricing declining and software that takes advantage of 64-bit execution emerging the industry seems to be ready for massive transition to 64-bit computing.
According to an Intel Corp.’s presentation at Intel Developer Forum Spring 2005 major software and hardware companies are either ready with their x86 64-bit capable applications or committed to deliver them relatively shortly. Among the mentioned are Ample Communications, ATI Technologies, Cakewalk, Emulex, HP, IBM, Dell, Hyperion, Microsoft, Micro Focus, Mellanox Technologies, Marvell, LSI Logic, NVIDIA Corp., Qlogic, Red Hat, TimesTen, Softimage, Transitive and UGS. Additionally, there are other software companies that expressed interest to support x86-64 platforms about two years ago.
But the main catalyst for 64-bit transition is Microsoft’s 64-bit Windows XP operating system possibly due next month. According to the exec of Microsoft, the company aims to ship desktop/workstation version of Windows XP Professional x64 in early April, 2005, with x86-64 flavour of Windows Server 2003 leaving the building in Redmond, Washington in late April, 2005.
According to Microsoft’s Jim Allchin, x64 native apps can bring more than 35% performance gain for applications, while the Windows XP x64 can even accelerate 32-bit software by 15% – 30%.