Microsoft Corporation and Intel Corporation announced this week that the 64-bit version of Windows, currently called Windows 2000/64, would ship this year on schedule along with Intel's first 64-bit microprocessor, the Itanium. Both releases are expected by mid-year, the companies said. And to ease the transition for developers, Microsoft has released its IA-64 Software Development Kit (SDK) and opened a porting lab at its Redmond campus called the 64-bit Windows Developer's Lab.
"Essentially, these steps are helping developers, independent software vendors and original equipment manufacturers gear up for a 64-bit Windows," a Microsoft spokesperson told IDG News this week.
Though details about Windows 2000/64 still remain scarce, comments made by Bill Gates at the Windows 2000 Launch Thursday suggested that each of the 32-bit editions--Professional, Server, Advanced Server, and Datacenter Server--would be ported to the Itanium. And the first beta of Windows 2000/64 is due sometime in Q2 2000. To end users, 64-bits means a dramatic raising of the resource bar: Windows 2000/64 will support up to 16 Terabytes (TB) of RAM, compared to 4 GB in Windows 2000 Server, 8 GB in Advanced Server, and 64 GB in Datacenter Server