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Suddenly, 64-bit Windows is mainstream

Ed Bott is right-on with his latest blog post. As I’ve been discussing lately on the Windows Weekly podcast, the move to Vista x64—I went that route on my main desktop several months ago—is now seamless, with not a single compatibility issue in sight.

Last year, x64 editions of Windows Vista were hard to come by and seen as mainly for early adopters. This year, with little warning, the tide seems to have shifted dramatically.

Microsoft noticed the sudden shift as well. According to stats I received yesterday, the installed base of 64-bit Windows Vista machines in the U.S. has more than tripled in the last three months. Using data from its Windows Update servers, Microsoft calculated that 1.45% of all Windows Vista machines were running x64 Vista editions in March of this year. By June, that figure was up to 5.18%. That number is actually more impressive than it sounds: by my back-of-the-envelope calculations, making that shift in total market share means that at least 20% of all Vista PCs sold in the second quarter of this year came with 64-bit editions of Windows Vista preinstalled. By fall, it’s possible, even likely, that we’ll reach a tipping point, with more than 50% of new PCs sold at retail coming with 64-bit editions of Windows Vista preinstalled.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve been running Vista x64 on my main desktop PC since February, with no issues whatsoever.

This has been my experience as well.

Thanks Joe R.

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