Windows SBS 2003 Users
Report Issues"> Microsoft "is encouraging customers and partners to begin thinking about the transition to 64-bit computing and preparing for migration of applications, etc., to the Windows x64 platform," he said. Users of Windows SBS 2003 who installed the recently released Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, have also been having issues, including the Remote Access Wizard failing to create a Connection Manager configuration package and the Change Server IP Address tool also failing.Some users who then uninstalled that service pack had the Fax service fail to start and the Fax Configuration Wizard fail to complete.Haycock said Microsoft is on track to deliver Windows SBS SP1 within the next month, adding that Microsoft is encouraging customers to wait for SBS 2003 SP1 before installing Windows Server 2003 SP1 on to their SBS 2003 networks. "SBS 2003 SP1 is built with customized integration capabilities, so customers shouldnt have compatibility issues between the many components of SBS 2003," he said. Further muddying the Windows 64-bit adoption waters is that fact that there is a limited number of device drivers available for that software at this time, though Microsoft expects that to change fairly rapidly. Greg Sullivan, the lead product manager for Microsofts Windows team, has said that a significant number of PC components do function under the 64-bit operating system, and that some 16,000 devices currently supported the Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, while several PC component manufacturers have also started publishing their drivers.
Read more here about 64-bit device drivers.
"The release of Windows XP Pro 64-bit client is the start of mainstream 64-bit client side computing," Sullivan told eWEEK.com recently, before admitting that the catch with this 64-bit release was that there were still many devices for which 64-bit drivers have not yet been written.
While a number of OEMs will be offering Windows x64 pre-installed on workstations and servers, including Acer, Alienware, Dell, FSC, Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi, IBM, NEC and Unisys, and others, such as Alienware, Dell, Fujitsu and HP, are already offering PCs pre-loaded with Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Microsoft is warning customers who plan to upgrade from XP Pro rather than buy a new machine that this may "void any support with your PC manufacturer."
To read more about Microsofts warning to PC customers, click here.
Asked this week if Microsoft had plans to ask those OEMs not pre-loading and supporting 64-bit Windows to continue to support those customers who upgrade to 64-bit, Jon Murchinson, Windows Group Product Manager, said, "We are leaving it to the discretion of the OEMs to support customers who upgrade to Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.
"The installation of Windows XP Professional x64 Editions may void OEM support, but it is up to PC manufacturers whether or not they will support upgraded PCs.
"Microsoft will provide one free support call for any installation-related issues. Additional calls to Microsoft support will be available on a pay-per-incident basis," he said.
Users who want to upgrade will also have to accept that their 32-bit version of Windows XP Professional will no longer be licensed, while installing Windows x64 requires the hard drive to be formatted.
"You must back up your files and settings prior to the installation or they will be erased. Microsoft is not liable for any loss of data as a result of this installation," the Microsoft Web site says.
In addition, 32-bit drivers are not supported. Drivers for 64-bit Windows "are created at the discretion of hardware manufacturers and may not be available for some of your hardware components," and "the installation of Windows XP Professional x64 Editions will void any support with your PC manufacturer," Microsoft says.
Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.