Processors that are 64-bit are quickly becoming the standard for systems ranging from servers to desktop computers. The 64-bit systems can use more virtual and physical memory than 32-bit processors. This allows users to work with much larger data sets than they could previously, to analyze and solve large computational problems. Office 2010 introduces native 64-bit versions of Office products to take advantage of the additional capacity provided by 64-bit processors. This additional capacity is only needed by Office users who require Excel spreadsheets that are larger than 2 GB, for example. The 32-bit version of Office 2010 provides the same functionality and is also compatible with 32-bit add-ins. This is why Office 2010 will install the 32-bit version by default.
Before you deploy 64-bit editions of Office 2010, you must evaluate the advantages and disadvantages and determine whether it is an appropriate deployment option for your specific environment. To learn about benefits and issues that might affect compatibility, Outlook considerations, and to see a list of the applications that block and those that do not block a 64-bit Office 2010 installation, see Deployment considerations in 64-bit editions of Office 2010 in the Office 2010 Beta Resource Kit. For more information about 64-bit Office 2010, see the Microsoft Office 2010 Engineering blog, Understanding 64-Bit Office.
The 64-bit editions of Office 2010 article provides information about the supported operating systems, supported scenarios, setup process, and deployment considerations for 64-bit Office 2010 clients. To see a visual representation that includes the Setup process, see 64-bit Client Installation of Microsoft Office 2010. This is a poster-sized document that is available in formats including Microsoft Office Visio 2007 files (.vsd), PDF files, and XPS files. To open these file types, you need the following software:
- .vsd files: Office Visio 2007, or the free Visio viewer (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=118761&clcid=0x409). If you use the Visio viewer, right-click the VSD link, click Save Target As, save the file to your computer, and then open the file from your computer.
- .pdf files: Any PDF viewer, such as Adobe Reader (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=134751&clcid=0x409).
- .xps files: Windows Vista, Windows XP with .NET Framework 3.0, or XPS Essentials Pack (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=134750&clcid=0x409).
Along with the introduction of 64-bit editions of Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft is releasing Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications 7.0 (VBA 7) to work with both 32-bit and 64-bit applications. For more information, see Compatibility Between the 32-bit and 64-bit Versions of Office 2010. The article discusses the changes that apply to the 64-bit version of Office 2010 and introduces the new VBA 7 code base.