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Windows 7 Driving 64-bit Uptake

Andy Vandervell


Windows 7 Driving 64-bit Uptake

Good news everyone, according to a post on the The Windows Blog, it looks as if 64-bit computing has finally hit the mainstream. Statistics derived from Windows Update have revealed that 46 per cent of all Windows 7 PCs are running 64-bit, compared to just 11 per cent from Vista and less than one per cent of Windows XP machines.

However, as Windows Communication Manager Brandon LeBlanc explains in his post, not all of the credit goes to Microsoft:

"The reason for the jump in transition to 64-bit PCs can be attributed to a few things. The first is the price of memory has dropped over the last several years making it easier for OEMs to up the amount of memory in the PCs they ship. And most major processors in PCs today are capable of running a 64-bit OS. There are also more and more compatible devices and applications for PCs running 64-bit Windows 7."

He goes on to add that 77 per cent of all new PC sales in the US have a 64-bit version of Windows 7 installed. All of which means there's no excuse for vendors not to include a 64-bit OS, and any that do will soon suffer at the hands of one our doomsday devices - or just get marked down. Surely by the time Windows 8 arrives, we'll all be on 64-bit?


The Windows Blog


July 9, 2010, 3:06 pm

The major reason, IMHO, is that Acer and all it's brands are shipping with 64 preinstalled, even on Celeron+1GB models.

I very much approve of them for this.

Simon Heather

July 9, 2010, 3:48 pm

I have a number of Dell laptops which came with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit but as they only have 2GB of memory installed I have reinstalled most of them with the 32-bit version instead which is more efficient with 2GB. I only use the 64-bit version on my desktop PC which has 4GB of memory.


July 9, 2010, 3:53 pm

another major help in the uptake is the fact that every 'windows 7 certified' device has to have both 32 bit and 64 bit drivers, therefore manufactures can install win7 safe in the knowledge that any device that the consumer then buys will work.


July 9, 2010, 3:57 pm

The main reason I would have thought, considering the masses are not that computer smart, is that windows 7 shipped with 32, and 64 on disc - or at least I'm led to believe


July 9, 2010, 4:26 pm

Unfortunatly there are still a lot of 3/4gb pc's with 512mb+ graphics cards being sold with 32bit.

And worse I've seen a few 'customisable' pc's that don't offer 64bit.

So its getting there, but still not perfect.


July 9, 2010, 4:38 pm

I agree with J4cK1505, the retail version of Win 7 came with both discs.. when I bought vista retail, you had to send off for the 64bit version and I'm sure like me, not many people did that.

Peter 20

July 9, 2010, 5:00 pm

"Surely by the time Windows 8 arrives, we'll all be on 64-bit?"

I hope all the bugs that are plaguing the Microsoft's 64bit system will be ironed out by then. For now if you want a dependable OS it's either 32bit or Linux.


July 9, 2010, 6:57 pm

All good news to me. Surprised the number is this high, but very pleasently surprised at that. There's always been speculation that Windows 8 would only be supplied in a 64 bit version, hopefully this adds fuel to that.

@Peter - Why does there always have to be one ? I've been using 64-bit Windows 7 since the first Beta came out and never had any issues with it. Neither does anyone else I know and I'm hardly seeing TR full of "64 bit issues".

Linux ? Nice joke to end your comment with though !

Peter 20

July 9, 2010, 7:11 pm


Let me guess you don't work in IT, well .. I do :)

Microsoft's OS works nicely on a individuals home PC, it's only when your trying to push it out to a large corporate environment and incorporate it with an existing infrastructure and corporate policies... that's when all the sh..t starts hitting the fan and you're stuck cleaning the blades.

And to end your comment, Linux is only a joke to people who are too dumb to use it.


July 9, 2010, 8:10 pm

One of the major hurdle to the 64-bit uptake is that Atom processors can't do 64-bit!!

Think about how many netbooks/nettops/etc they sell...

Brian ONeill

July 9, 2010, 8:57 pm

I have a w7 64 bit dell machine with 6gig of ram. It is 18 month old, normally i upgrade my machine every two years but this machine is so fast and so quiet I think i will have it for a good while.

w7 is an excellant OS.

For me it will be interesting to see what apple do next. OSX is 10 years old now, and i would be suprised if they are not working on something pretty cool. Or maybe all there attention is on mobiles?


July 9, 2010, 9:03 pm

@AJ Hopefully windows 8 won't have a 32-bit version. Time to move on me thinks

@WyWyWyWy Really? Cheers for that, I didn't know. Been really tempted to put Win7 on my netbook (I really hate XP now) and if I ever did I would have chosen the 64-bit one probably, even though it would have been of no benefit. The cost has always put me off, why oh why didn't I buy 2 when they were £45!?


July 9, 2010, 11:08 pm

Now all we need is more 64-bit software. Office 2010 has just come across - still waiting for Flash though, and proper 64-bit iTunes would be nice.


July 10, 2010, 12:49 am

Every time someone starts their sentence, "good news, everyone," I always read the entire comment or article in Professor Farnsworth's voice. I can't stop it.

Martin Daler

July 10, 2010, 1:33 am


Why didn't you buy 2 when they were £45. Because you'd be kicking yourself of course, since they are only £33.37 over here:


OK, so you have to be a student.

But even if you are just a regular parent with a child at school, then these guys are not much dearer:



July 10, 2010, 2:16 am

It depends on the Intel Atom you have, some ARE 64-bit.

Atom 200, 300 400 and D510 are 64-bit.

See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

I have a desktop Nvidia ION, with the Intel Atom 330, 2GB of RAM. Win7 64-bit ran faster and smoother over the 32-bit version. Also, having the ability to run 64-bit codecs also helps.


July 10, 2010, 4:22 am

Good news everyone!

I read that whole newspost in Professor Farnsworth's voice :-)


July 10, 2010, 1:12 pm


Actually I'd say anyone who thinks it's easier implementing Linux in a large scale corporate desktop environment hasn't a clue what they're talking about. You may work in IT but I'm pretty sure it's not in that kind of role.

Peter 20

July 10, 2010, 8:23 pm


Never did I said that it's "Easier" because it's not, I only said it's more dependable.


July 10, 2010, 10:27 pm


Really? What's your experience of Windows vs Linux desktop environments in an enterprise on a large scale to make that statement?

Peter 20

July 11, 2010, 3:59 am


I could ramble for days and days about my experience but rather then do that just for the purpose of answering your question I will give you an example that just happened to me recently.

Currently I'm in a middle of a project of upgrading a large number of PCs to Win7, now it's not really an "Upgrade" but rather a re-imaging of a number of PCs with windows7. For this purpose we use symantec ghost solutions. One of the steps that must be performed when doing such a task is syspreping the image before it is pushed out to the clients and when we do that we modify an answer file so that it copies a user profile created by us to a default user profile setup by microsoft. Now keep in mind that this is a supported way of doing things like this and is fully documented by microsoft in their manuals. So you can only imagine my suprise when i find out that copying a user profile during a sysprep only works for the 32bit windows in a 64bit win7 there appears to be a bug that causes the entire OS to crash and require a complete reinstall. Now I know the next thing you gonna say is "you've must have done something wrong", well just in case to cover all tracks I've setup 2 separate PCs with exactly same specs, same model same manufacturer. Installed 32bit win7 on one and 64bit on the other with both PCs side by side and Microsofts instructions in hand I've re traced my steps again and again the 32bit OS worked fine while 64bit OS crashed every time.

Example number 2 64bit printer drivers for windows7 are a bloody nightmare. I have to deal with a number of different printers at work from old laser jet HPs to brand new Dells and a big high volume Richos. To be fair I didn't have too much problems with HPs and Richos but Dells were and still are nightmare. I should also mention that all our printers are network printers and they are all setup through a single windows 2003 32bit server. On a 32bit client of win7 we had no problems at all they work with all our printers perfectly. the problems began with 64bit win7 and drivers downloaded straight from Dells site. Many of them are simply not recognized, others will work for black and white printing and crash for color printing.

Now on to linux, when working with linux thing are a bit different simply because not all of the things you can do in windows you can do in linux and vice versa. Having said that I've setup planty of both 32 and 64 bit versions of linux and no matter which architecture you choose the experience is almost the same. Never had any problems with printers, (now I'm not saying that linux has all the drivers for all the devices out there because that is certnly NOT true) but I've never had any problems with any of the printers we have at work. Also because Linux is free and does not require any purchasing any licenses you do not have to sysprep or do any fancy re-packaging and a profile can be very simply copied manually. So here is a an example where setting up linux is actually easier.

I'm not even gonna mention that no matter which websites our clients navigate to I never have to wary about them downloading any malware. While cleanign and re-building windows machines is daily routine (I shouldn't be complaining about that, this is what i like to call a Job Security).

Now like I've said I could go on for pages and pages of rambling about stuff like this but given that this hole conversation was set off by my simple comment and some "Microsoft Fanboy" who's go his feeling hurt (I apologize for that, it was not my intention), I will stop here.

Peter 20

July 11, 2010, 4:20 am


Okay you got me going...

I also wanted to mention that thanks to the open nature of linux and the fact that Linux can be described as one big open file that you can modify if something needs fixing, reconfiguring or repairing when you do run into a problem depending on how far you are willing go and troubleshoot in order to fix it you can even re-write and re-compile the entire kernel. In comparison because Microsoft is completely closed if you run into a bug or a problem which cannot be solved by a non microsoft emplyee the only option you got is report the problem back to microsoft and hope and pray that enough people experience and report the same bug so that good people at microsoft will be kind enough to look at it and fix it.


July 11, 2010, 11:47 am


Ah you got me ... I was going to keep quiet but just can't help myself...

I completely get where you're coming from with the difficulties of 64 bit windows over 32 bit in the corporate environment ..

but that said you can't be seriously suggesting that linux ( of any variant ) is a suitable replacement for windows either as a corporate desktop or in the home for the average lay person ...

Don't get me wrong - I love the challenge linux looks like it might have been able to mount - it's just that it hasn't created an environment that my mom could use - and that is my yardstick for whether a desktop o/s could go mainstream.

( Disclaimer - before the rabid linux supporters descend - i use linux VMs at home - reminds me of the old days with SYSV/R4 ... ahhh those were the days coding with emacs and a vt220 .. cue nostalgic violin music )

( Please read the entire comment with the voice of Hermes - preferably whilst doing the limbo )


July 11, 2010, 1:16 pm


I'm assuming you're using Ghost Solution Suite 2.5 in which case you should know that it hasn't been confirmed as compatible with Windows 7 64 bit yet. Kind of rough to blame Windows for that one considering it's clearly shown on the Windows 7 compatibility page.

Christ man, that's a basic part of your job to know what works and what doesn't!

The rest of your post is similar drivel. Don't you use any AV or site blockers (which for any open commercial network is an absolute requirement regardless of OS used)? Also good luck in getting support for a large scale Linux network on a 'free' basis as well as ensuring you get regular updates that match your software/hardware. Seriously.

I'm not a Windows fanboy, Pete. I'm just someone who knows how to do their job.


July 11, 2010, 1:59 pm

Alright you two, cut it out.

@Sleeper: Peter clearly has a clue what he's talking about (and it ties in with my experience too), even if he did overstate the case against Win 7 64-bit in the first instance.

@Peter: Perhaps a less inflammatory comment to start with would have made all the difference.

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