Microsoft ships 64-bit Windows OS

Microsoft ships 64-bit Windows OS

Computer makers last month took delivery of Microsoft Corp.'s first operating system for the new 64-bit Intel Itanium platform.

Initially, Microsoft Windows Advanced Server Limited Edition will be available only preloaded on hardware, said Velle Kolde, Microsoft's lead product manager for Windows enterprise server software. The OS will reach other sales channels next year when the company releases the rest of its successor products to Windows 2000.

After a long-delayed advent, IA-64 computing will get a boost next year when Intel Corp. brings out its second-generation Itanium processor. But 32-bit computing won't go by the wayside, as 16-bit systems did in the mid-1990s, Kolde predicted. Microsoft will continue to update its 32-bit OSes for years to come because 'the ecosystem around 32-bit Windows is huge,' Kolde said.

The IA-64 platform will serve large database, data warehousing, encryption and simulation applications. Pricing for the OS will be comparable to that of Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Kolde said.

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