The official announcement has come out that the next versions of Exchange and SBS will be 64-bit only. I’m really excited about this – most of the new server hardware deployed today is 64-bit (and virtually all of the OEM offerings are), so there will be a good number of customers ready to take advantage of this. One thing to be aware of in our space, however, is that this means your next upgrade will be a migration. The performance enhancements, especially in terms of I/O reduction in Exchange, will mean that this next generation of software and hardware will be significantly faster where it counts – database manipulation, search, indexing.
From the article:
As part of its commitment to 64-bit computing, Microsoft has been delivering products that are optimized for 64-bit, including the newly released SQL Server™ 2005, Visual Studio® 2005 and Virtual Server 2005 R2. To help customers take full advantage of the power of 64-bit computing, products including Microsoft® Exchange Server “12,” Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, Windows Server™ “Longhorn” Small Business Server, and Microsoft’s infrastructure solution for midsize businesses, code-named “Centro,” will be exclusively 64-bit and optimized for x64 hardware.