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SCI/TECH: Microsoft Enables Support for Intelís 64-bit Chips

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posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 03:29 PM
Microsoft has released another beta version of Windows XP OS for 64 bit processors that enables support for Intel's 64 bit CPUs's. Earlier versions of the OS could only be installed on AMD's Athlon 64, and Opteron systems.

Microsoft Enables Support for Intelís 64-bit Chips
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Now Runs on Intel Systems

Earlier beta version of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition could not be installed on Intel Pentium 4 and Intel Xeon-based systems, as Microsoft only tested its forthcoming operating system with AMDís Athlon 64 and Opteron microprocessors.

While AMD and Intelís processors with 64-bit extensions are generally compatible, some capabilities of the chips are not equal. For example, AMD sports 3DNow! instructions, while Intel sports Hyper-Threading technology. Furthermore, chips may handle different instructions in different way, therefore, Microsoft will need to do some additional work in order to ensure flawless compatibility with Intelís microprocessors.

Intel and Microsoft have promised that the final versions of both Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 for 64-bit extended systems will run on Xeon and Opteron servers without any hitches, according to the report. Currently Microsoft is working on another beta version of Windows XP 64-bit that will be compatible with Intelís chips.

64-bit Windows Still Far Away

Microsoft originally planned to release its operating systems for computers powered by x86 processors with 64-bit capability in late 2003 or early 2004. However, in mid-October 2003 the worldís largest software maker said it would only be in a position to ship the new products only in Q4 2004.

ďMicrosoft wants to allow sufficient time for tuning and testing of [Windows Server 2003] SP1 and x[86-]64, particularly for the server-relevant security enhancements from Windows XP SP2, which is due to release to manufacturing in August,Ē the spokeswoman for Microsoft said earlier this year.

Currently Microsoft offers beta versions of its operating systems for 64-bit Extended Systems to those who want to preview capabilities of the new software. However, publicly available beta versions of Windows for x86-64 computers cannot be installed on systems based on Intelís x86-64 processors, it was recently discovered.

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