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Old 18th June, 2007, 04:51 AM
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mookydooky mookydooky is offline
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Microsoft has never been on the cutting edge and it never will be. The reason for that is basically twofold.

1. Huge installed base of users would never accept any large deviance from previous OSes. By now, too many people have invested too much time learning to use Windows in all it's forms and most of them are loathe to learn a brand new platform.

2. Huge software base that MS will not abandon like Apple. Corporate America is MS's largest customer and if MS abandons them, they have a simple solution. Don't buy the new OS.

As for using a 64 bit OS, as you say, most apps can't take advantage of a single core, let alone quad core. That's very true since most programs are not of the streaming data type. In a similar way, most apps can't take advantage of large memory addressing. There is however a big difference in reprogramming programs to take advantage of multithreading. There is no tangible benefit for most programs to be reprogrammed or recompiled into 64 bit versions whereas there is a definite tangible benefit to reprogramming to take advantage of multithreading. Look at the latest version of DivX. Unless a program needs to play around with data chunks larger than 4GB, there's no advantage to going 64 bit. How many programs of that type exist right now? And of the ones that do exist, how many are used by the mainstream computer user? Just about 0.

What exactly is the advantage of using a 64 bit OS? it's being able to address larger chunks of data. How many of us though, are currently using using apps that need access to greater than 4GB of data at a time? Typically those apps are database types and they're already on 64 bit or greater OSes to the likes of Oracle and stuff of that ilk.

As for OSX, until Leopard ships, it's not a true 64 bit OS now is it? How can it be if it runs on Core Duo.... MacBook was a huge hit last year because it started using CD and if OSX was truly 64 bit... it couldn't run on it. OSX basically has some 64 bit fuctionality by cheating a bit in a similar fashion to the way DOS did it way back when it was cheating to use more than 640KB by switching address spaces.

To be honest, what is the function of an OS? It's basically to run the programs that you want to run. You can't run Windows programs on Linux and vice versa unless you're going to emulate or virtualize, words the vast majority of users have no idea about. If the vast majority of the programs you need (as in ALL of them) are 32 bit, there's no point in switching to 64 bit.

Of course there are early adopters who love tinkering with the latest software and that's great, but it's going to be a while before we see any major applications running natively in 64 bit. I mean come on... who needs a 64 bit word processor? I probably use about 10% of the functionality in Word as it is and I sure as hell don't have any Word docs as big as 4GB. I bet 99.9% of Word users are like me. 64 bit browser? How many browser tabs are you gonna open? 5000??? There's no reason at this point in time to develop 64 bit version of that kind of software.

That's not to say it's not going to happen. Eventually the software is going to catch up with the hardware. It happened back in early 90's and it'll happen again in a few years. Until then though, why load yourself with a 64 bit OS when none of your apps run native to it and you always have to run in emulation with larger hardware overhead? For the vast majority and by that I mean 9999 people out of 10,000, Vista32 is just fine.
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