Some Legacy Subsystems Wont Get Windows 64-Bit Support

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-05-05 Print this article Print

The portable operating-system interface for Unix, 16-bit computing and the OS/2 subsystem will 'be lost' along with some legacy transport protocols, product manager for the Windows 64-bit client says.

SEATTLE—While Microsofts upcoming Windows 64-bit client for extended systems will be almost feature-compatible with Windows XP Professional, some legacy subsystems and transport protocols will not be supported in that release. "Not included in 64-bit Windows are some legacy subsystems like 16-bit support, the OS/2 subsystem and the portable operating-system interface for Unix [Posix]. Some of the legacy transport protocols will also be lost," Brian Marr, product manager for the Windows 64-bit client, said Wednesday at a session on 64-bit computing during the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) here.
In March 2003, Microsoft released Windows XP 64-Bit Edition, which supported the Itanium processor family. The next version of the product for 64-bit x86 extensions will be released in the fourth quarter of this year, and it will give users the ability to run their 32-bit applications today and then move to 64-bit computing down the road, he said.
On the server side, Microsoft is focusing on Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1), which is due by the end of the year. A number of its 64-bit Windows Server ports will be made available simultaneously with SP1. These include Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition for Intels 64-bit Extended and Itanium processors and Windows Server 2003 Extended Edition for AMD 64-bit Extended processors. The industry has a huge opportunity with 64-bit computing, but Microsoft cannot do it alone, Marr said, repeating the calls by chief software architect Bill Gates and Jim Allchin, Microsofts group vice president of platforms, for developers to write 64-bit drivers. "The biggest thing about moving to 64-bit computing is that 32-bit drivers wont work, and we really need the ecosystem around that to make this work," Marr said. "Microsoft can provide the foundation work, but without you and our partners, we cannot achieve this. We are looking to you to help us provide drivers for 64-bit." Next Page: We see this as the default platform on PCs in the next few years, Marr says.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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