Recently, Microsoft released the preview version of its new Windows XP 64 for AMD 64 systems. With the Itanium's hopes for superiority quickly fading away, AMD 64 looks to be the way to go for those looking to upgrade to 64-bit in the near future. If that's you, should you be seriously considering upgrading to this version of Windows? Find out what advantages--if any--you are to gain by moving to this beta-version operating system (OS).
Author's Note:According to Microsoft, it should be "Windows XP Professional 64 Bit Edition for 64 Bit Extended Systems Consumer Preview." However, if you think I'm going to write that every time I refer to the OS in this article, you're flat-out kidding yourself. That aside, this update is one of the things that AMD has been waiting for. Even then, they are not getting the whole package; as it states in the name, this is still in beta.
What is XP 64 Bit Edition?
Microsoft is making a version of this operating system for those running x86-64 processors. Currently, that means anyone running the AMD Athlon64/FX/Opteron (hence the "extended" wording in the name). The short version of the name implies the likes of the 386 moving x86 to 32bit from 16bit, and the first 8086 used in the original IBM PCs extending the original architecture from 8bit to 16bit. AMD increased the size of the registers, added a few instructions, and kept its binary compatibility with all previous x86 programs.
The real XP 64 Bit Edition is meant for Intel's Itanium, running the IA-64 instruction set. That's their current 64-bit processor, although with the announcement of the Xeon CT (Yamhill), it seems that Intel is joining in on the x86 extension to 64 bit. But that's a topic for another article. I'll be going in to this more in a separate article on various Instruction Set Architectures.
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