|From DailyTech: The hottest buzz in the tech industry in 2003 was 64-bit hardware and operating systems. That year the industry seemed on the verge of a computer revolution. Then AMD CEO Hector Ruiz stated, "Our industry, right now, is hungry for another round of innovation."
AMD released its first 64-bit processors that year. While sales were decent, there was no consumer 64-bit operating system to take advantage of the hardware. Then finally in 2005, Microsoft released Windows XP in 64-bit form. Yet again the 64-bit industry seemed set to explode.
The release was met with much criticism, though. Part of the problem was necessity -- even in 2005 the average user did not need more than 2 GB, in most circumstances. Another major hitch was driver support. All drivers had to be rewritten to work with the new width.
Despite these difficulties, three years later, for the first time, the 64-bit industry is at last healthy and growing. With virtually all new processors from Intel and AMD supporting 64-bit, 64-bit OS's are flourishing as well.
In a recent blog, Microsoft's Chris Flores reported that 20 percent of new Windows systems connecting to Windows Update were 64-bit. This is up from a mere 3 percent in March. He stated, "Put more simply, usage of 64-bit Windows Vista is growing much more rapidly than 32-bit. Based on current trends, this growth will accelerate as the retail channel shifts to supplying a rapidly increasing assortment of 64-bit desktops and laptops."
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