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back to article Microsoft offers stickers to boost Windows 7 64-bit take-up

Microsoft announced its Windows 7 logo program today, which comes with an interesting caveat: vendors wishing to claim compatibility status with the upcoming OS need to prove their product will run under the 64-bit version of the platform. The move paves the way for Microsoft to encourage as many hardware and software partners …

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At last!

It was about time - in my humble opinion this is a move that should have taken place since the XP release!

I have spent hundreds of hours hunting and hacking 64-bit drivers for various laptops and desktops. In fact, the lack of 64-bit compliance from the early XP days led to peripheral/chipset manufacturers neglecting the development and testing of proper 64-bit drivers. This has left many of us, who do not wish to dump our perfectly performing but oldish hardware, with the early beta drivers that some (decent) manufacturers released under the pressure of 64-bit users.

I am running XP 64 bit since 2006 and I am not going back to 32 bits. Ever. I skipped Vista and I don't plan to move to Win7-64 before 2012. Unless a slimmed down n-lited version is released.

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FAIL

"Installs for Sure"

Or should that be "Windows Genuine Disadvantage"

I kill me at times. No really, I do.

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A better solution

Microsoft should have release Windows 7 as 64-bit only. "Problem" solved.

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Grenade

Windows 7 64 bit on a Netbook?

So in order to get the "Designed for Windows 7" sticker, Windows 7 has to be work on all a given vendors products? If anyone get's Windows 7 64 bit running on a Netbook with 4GB of ram, THEN I will become interested in Windows 7 enough to buy a new Netbook. If not, then Vista will be working for me for a while.

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Megaphone

It's all about...

...that good ol' 4GB limit.

Just look at how many pikey-spec consumer-grade machines are now being advertised with 3 or 4 gig of memory. Joe Average now knows that low RAM = slug. It's probably the only positive to come from the FistaFiasco.

OK, so Win7 has at least been near a gym, and is slightly less morbidly obese than Fista - but it still comes thoroughly pre-installed with pies.

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Wait, don't tell me...

...stickers with "Windows 7 compatible" on them.

Which no one will believe because they'll remember "Vista compatible".

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Since 64-bit is about the only reason why you would want win7

it's only correct to require anything wanting to label itself with win7 compatibility to be so with the 64-bit version.

(i don't get why they still offer a 32-bit version at all)

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Happy

64-bit went mainstream on Linux about 5 years ago

Nice to see that Microsoft have finally realised that most new desktops and laptops bought nowadays are 64-bit capable - hey, only 5 years after Linux distros caught onto the 64-bit platform :-) I suspect that even now, Linux still has more 64-bit binaries available than Windows does - MS totally dropped the 64-bit ball with both XP and Vista...it's about time they, oh, hit the year 2004 or so.

Still, the standard 64-bit caveat applies on all platforms - if you have less than 4GB of physical RAM or your apps require less than 4GB of virtual RAM in total, then stick with 32-bit.

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Fantastic news!

With companies like Sony not supporting 64bit drivers officially this is excellent news! Good on Microsoft for once - this is exactly what we need to accelerate the poor support that many companies provide for users using 64bit Operating Systems.

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64x Support...

Has come a long way. I'm running Ubuntu Server x64 w/ Xwindow and virtual Windows 7 x64 and sometimes have issues with web content(flash? java?) when I enable scripts. Hardware support is spot on, it seems. Better than 4 years ago when I bought an "AMD x64 system" running x86 Windows that included a NIC that did not have any x64 drivers available. Ahhh, the growing pains.

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Stop

Stickers ...

Remember how many computers had Vista ready ....

Yet more of the same ?

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To steak from Apple's marketing bag...

"64 bit, for the rest of us."

Now, before I get flamed, that's not a statement against Apple, or against Microsoft. I'm a Mac fan, have owned about a dozen of them since the Lisa, but I'm also a PC and Linux guru, network systems analyst, and currently do not own a mac. (That's to be rectified before the end of November though)

I don't particularly like Windows, I'm pretty much forced to use it. That said, it does have it's advanteges in a lot of areas. I'm glad Microsoft is finally using something to force vendors to start getting on the 64bit Bandwagon Apple sent doen the road years ago. Hopefully Windows 8 won't even come in a 32 bit edition, and itself can include native multithread handling support.... The only apps/drivers keeping me on 32bit at the moment will be almost certain to make the switch as that compatability logo is something comsumers actually look for, and if the competitors have it and they don't, they will loose marketshare.

I don't often say this, but microsoft's actually made a smart move here.

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WTF?

So desperate!

They are so desperate to ensure they hang on to the market that Apple and Ubuntu are slowly stealing from them they have to get their sad little badges on everything!

Crikey MS you got every keyboard to have a Windows key fitted, what more would you like to slap your sad little logo on? I will never understand that, up until 1992 we managed without a Windows key, Unix and Apple people manage without one, why do we need one,unless you buy an MS branded keyboard?!?

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Anonymous Coward

Will it fit on the bumper of my car?

I like stickers, can I have one.

I once had a sticker of a sticker, it was my absolute favorite sticker, I cried when it got worn out and I couldn't get another one.

Stickers are great, they're just like plasters, only prettier, and you can do lots of things with stickers, they're just the best thing in the world for covering up those little cracks in things when you just can't be bothered to fix it properly.

Will there be two stickers, one for 32 bit and one for 64 bit, will the the 64 bit sticker be better than the 32 bit sticker?, are they giving it away for free? or will it be licensed?, will it be an upgradeable sticker in the future? or will I just have to keep on patching it to make it work properly?

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Linux

Meh, who needs 64 bit?

As Richard Lloyd suggests, 64 bit is worthless unless you have a need for lots of RAM.

Linux has had 64bit support for half a decade now and I still haven't done more than the occasional test install.

However, my newest PC has 4Gb of RAM installed and I expect that will increase on my next one so by then I reckon I will be making the switch but until then there is nothing to gain but a few extra hassles that I don't need.

Most of those hassles have been addressed by now I expect (Adobe Flash, I'm looking at you) so by the time I'm ready things should be sweet.

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Gates Halo

32bit is only for the consumers

Server 08 R2 is the same kernel generation as W7, and that doesn't even come in a 32bit flavour. I suspect that W7 32bit will be the last 32bit OS they release.

Just wish the Linux crowd would get the stones to make future releases 64bit-only.

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Netbooks not fit for windows 7 then?

Last time I looked most Netbooks were running on 32 bit only Atom processors - so Microsoft's admits that their product is not fit to use with them then?

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Troll

@ac "so desperate"

um, you know those Apple keyboards... don't they have a little Apple symbol which almost does as much useful stuff as the Window key?

I use the Windows key for the same reason I use the Apple key on my Mac ... to get a text box that lets me launch an app (on Win7 it's the search box, on the Mac it's QuickSilver)

My old Vaio has a WinXP/Vista Compatible sticker on (but still runs Win7 just fine). My Mac has a huge great glowing Apple logo on the back ... who's more desperate with their branding?!

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Gates Halo

@Joe User

Actually the best solution is the one they've actually gone for. You buy version X, you get both the 32 and 64 bit versions of X and it's your call which one you install.

I'm probably going to get a copy of 7. I'm in two minds as to whether to stay 32-bit or go for 64. I was delighted to find that whichever way I jump I will have the option of changing my mind later. As a result I probably will go for 64 as I have the kit to support it and, if it does prove problematic in any areas, I can revert to 32. If I'd had to specify at purchase time which one I'd almost certainly have gone 32 for safety's sake.

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Stop

@ several

a/c

".... we managed without a Windows key, Unix and Apple people manage without one, why do we need one,unless you buy an MS branded keyboard?!?"

Hey numptie, take a look at an Apple keyboard, you'll see the "Apple Key" often used to get around the fact that Mac mice only had one button. The idea was around well before the Windows key.

And others

Windows has been 64 bit for almost a decade (XP 64 bit edition), the problem has not been MS, it's been everyone else not writing drivers and software for it. MS have already taken a stance in the latest verision of Exchange Server which is 64bit ONLY.

This is MS's way of trying to make the rest of the industry catch up.

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Anti-Netbook move?

Are they saying that in order to receive certification a vendor must be able to run Windows 7 on all it's products?

So if they make 64bit 'puters they must be able to run Win7 64bit and (as a completely unintended consequence) if they make netbooks they must be able to run win7 too. So any manufacturer who dares to deal in low spec or (god forbid) ARM based devices is not welcome in the Win 7 club.

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@OffBeatMammal

Er, not really, not since 2007 - these days it's just a command key. It doesn't have the apple logo on it.

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Boffin

It's not about making all machines 64bit...

but ensuring that all software and devices work with 64bit Windows 7.

This means that when you buy a Certified for Windows 7 piece of software, it'll work on ALL Windows 7 variants, including 32bit and 64bit.

Similarly, when you buy a piece of hardware which is Certified for Windows 7, you know that it'll have 32bit and 64bit drivers.

I read that it doesn't refer to the PC, but software and devices. I cannot see them requiring 32bit processors to run 64bit OS.

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Linux

64 bit not just for huge systems, and not necessary for huge systems either

"Still, the standard 64-bit caveat applies on all platforms - if you have less than 4GB of physical RAM or your apps require less than 4GB of virtual RAM in total, then stick with 32-bit."

Sheesh. The linear address space for 64 bit kicks in at a little under 1GB; the linear address space and the simplified page tables benefit all apps, 32 bit or 64 bit once you have about 2GB in your machine. 64 bit apps would be less efficient (due to requiring more memory) were it not for the fact that you get 14 extra registers to play with when you're compiling for 64 bit. In other words, on practically anything capable of running a 64 bit OS, all applications benefit and 64 bit ones benefit even more.

Conversely, you don't _need_ 64 bit to address large amounts of physical RAM. The PAE extension (present in just about everything but some benighted laptops: Toshiba, I'm looking at you) lets you address large amounts of memory and in fact it only runs out of steam at 16GB because the PAE messing around makes things too slow and you _still_ need low memory for page tables.

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Go

About Time

Great move - practically all CPUs are 64 bit, (had 2 64 bit PCs replaced since they first came to market) should be getting all using the same 64 bit code.

"Still, the standard 64-bit caveat applies on all platforms - if you have less than 4GB of physical RAM or your apps require less than 4GB of virtual RAM in total, then stick with 32-bit."

If you have a graphics card memory takes a chunk out of the 4GB so 3GB main memory is usually the max.

If you start with 2-3GB later you may upgrade your PC. Rather than being left to replace a 32 bit OS with 64 at the time of upgrade, (which requires additional cost for new windows licence,) it is much better to have the right software to begin with.

32 bit apps run fine on 64 bit machines.

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am i alone

in thinking that if microsoft had just released 1 disk, that had both 64bit and 32bit on, all of this would have been solved with vista.

when installing default to the processor type, and have an advanced button to swiitch back to 32bit if you really want to. Make it an exception to have 32bit, rather than the default. Maybe people will actually start writing a few 64bit apps if the majority install base goes 64bit.

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Boffin

@Sooty

Yes, you probably are alone...

If everyone with a Vista box had gone for 64bit installs, there would have been more people complaining that Vista was pants. Many devices just have no 64bit drivers - even now!. Saying that they'll do it if a certain percentage install it, is silly, because it just means that people can't use their devices until that point (if it happens). So what would actually happen is that they would re-install with 32bit in the mean time. Which reduces the 64bit %... What you need is 64bit driver and application support right from day 1 of the device being released (or already in Windows 7 if it's already out)

Making Windows 7 Certification require 64bit support is a good step. However, I'd like it if they mandated that 32bit and 64bit support should be equal - not just minimal 64bit support. I have HP drivers for a laser printer. Manual double sided printing is missing from the 64bit drivers. Similarly, the default HP drivers that Windows Update picks up don't properly support printing multiple copies - ask to print 10 copies and 1 comes out. They'll probably be able to tick the "64 bit drivers" box, but in practice they're pants.

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Flame

RE: am i alone

nope, SUN thought that was a great idea, enough so to use it in x86 solaris. Infact, they also relized that not EVERYTHING needs redone for 64-bit (i mean really, fo you NEED a 64-bit verion of ls? silly linux people...)

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@About Time

"Rather than being left to replace a 32 bit OS with 64 at the time of upgrade, (which requires additional cost for new windows licence,) it is much better to have the right software to begin with."

Heh in some ways this is why I hate OEM installs. If people just bought the software outright from a store, for example, you get both 32 and 64 bit in the package for Vista and it will be the same for Win7. Screw OEMs and only giving 32 *OR* 64 bit options.

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Happy

Good for Microsoft, required to be x64 to use the Win7 logo!

Hi, I'm a reseller and got my Win 7 OEM last month. I converted all my office computers from Winxp and Vista 32 bit to Win 7 x64 where possible. What a difference! Combining the Windows 7 faster speed than XP with x64 is very noticable. My old computers are much faster. One computer when from a 1.6 to a 4.1 with the x64 upgrade due to the increased memory speed.

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