There has been a lot of talk recently about 64–bit from a server and datacenter perspective, but there really has not been much talk about 64–bit in the desktop or the consumer space.
In John’s post (http://blogs.technet.com/cdnitmanagers/archive/2005/11/15/414557.aspx) he talks about reducing the Datacenters footprint with 64–bit and virtualization, and while this sounds great for IT, it does not talk about the end-user.
Having spent the last few months working with 64–bit hardware, including servers, workstations, and laptops, I thought I would share some of the interesting things I have discovered. For the most part, the hardware vendors have not embraced 64–bit Windows (Windows XP Pro x64 edition) as an OS for the desktop or consumer; in doing so, they have elected not to deliver drivers to support their various hardware and peripherals.
The unfortunate part of this is that many of the local retail stores are now carrying consumer AMD x64, AMD x64 x2, and Intel Pentium D based machines, all running 32–bit operating systems. For those of you that are interested in trying out the 64–bit machines, you will have to do a lot of the searching for drivers yourself.
There are however some great resources out there to help you find (unofficial) drivers in some cases to get your system up and running in a 64–bit world. Volker’s blog (http://blogs.msdn.com/volkerw) has some great insight what is happening at Microsoft around 64–bit, in fact he has a category specifically called “64–bit for Users”
Let me know what your company’s plans are for 64–bit workstations.