Microsoft Rolls the 64-Bit Dice

by admin July 3, 2006 at 12:55 pm

Goodbye 32-bits. Sometime next year, Microsoft will release a 64-bit only version of its popular Exchange messaging server software, but has no plans to upgrade the current 32-bit version which will continue to be supported.

It’s a bit of a risk for the software giant, given the 64-bit x86 market is only around two years old, but growing very fast. According to market research firm IDC, 64-bit x86-based systems accounted for 78.8 percent of all x86 servers sold in the first quarter of this year, with factory revenue for x86-64 systems more than doubling year over year.

However, there’s a catch: most if not all those 64-bit x86 servers that have been sold in the past year are running a 32-bit version of Windows.

“Those folks aren’t going to be very happy to know that to get the features in Exchange 2007, they will have to reinstall all that software on a server that’s 64-bit, but loaded with a 32-bit operating system,” said Peter Pawlak, senior analyst for server applications at Directions on Microsoft.

Pawlak was critical of Microsoft’s 64-bit-only decision for Exchange late last year, calling it a “mistake,” but has softened his stand slightly.

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