Microsoft Pushes Hardware Partners Toward 64-Bit

Microsoft's Bob Muglia sings the praises of 64-bit computing, offering WinHEC attendees a look at its benefits.

SEATTLE—While Microsoft Corp. intends to ship both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of its Longhorn Server software when it ships sometime in 2007, it plans to release a 64-bit-only version of Small Business Server in that time.

Going forward, 64-bit computing will be the default system Microsoft ships, and it will also be the system it encourages its hardware partners to support as well. "Of course we will support 32-bit, but it will be legacy by then," Bob Muglia, Microsofts senior vice president for Windows Server, said in an executive viewpoint session on the server opportunity at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) here on Monday.

Windows Server software also has the opportunity to grow in many existing and new places as the ongoing movement away from proprietary hardware to industry-standard hardware continues apace.

"Windows is the single biggest driver and beneficiary of that move," Muglia said. "The movement away from proprietary RISC-based architectures onto industry hardware is an important one.

/zimages/1/28571.gifEarlier this year, Muglia said Windows is squeezing Unix. Click here to read more.

"Unix to Windows migrations are forecast to grow by 150 percent, while of the 2.7 million Novell servers worldwide, 50 percent of these are on hardware that is more than four years old. Migration away from the mainframe also offered another opportunity," he said.

The past few weeks have been good ones for the server team, as Windows 64-bit on both the server and client shipped, and Microsoft can now target a much broader set of applications with 64-bit computing, he said.

Using 64-bit on some first-mover workloads, like networking, has yielded a record 7G-bps transfer rate, while on the file side there is an 11 percent higher user capacity, a two times higher throughput on Active Directory and 170 percent more users for Terminal Services, Muglia said.

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