Over five years after the launch of the first x86-64 desktop CPU, 64-bit versions of Windows are finally poised to take over. DailyTech got the scoop from several sources inside Microsoft, one of which said over 25% of Vista installations in the U.S. were 64-bit at the end of 2008.
The site also spoke to Windows VP Jon DeVaan, who noted the following about the transition:
From our point of view we believe that we have accomplished the tipping point in terms of 64-bit adoption. Now, this happened to a large degree because memory prices are coming down, and another dynamic that we've seen in the United States is that the retail channel is looking to use RAM upgrades as a way to boost margin. So what that means is that 64-bit machine run rate is increasing rapidly, and that means our ability to support those 64-bit machines fully in the broad ecosystem is a really important thing.
Another Microsoft executive, Windows Clients Communications Director Chris Flores, commented, "Usage of 64-bit Windows Vista is growing much more rapidly than 32-bit. Based on current trends, this growth will accelerate as the retail channel shifts to supplying a rapidly increasing assortment of 64-bit desktops and laptops."
DailyTech expects most installations of Windows 7 to be 64-bit. Indeed, offering 64-bit systems exclusively would likely cut costs for PC vendors, since they'd have to deal with fewer versions of the same system and fewer drivers. Windows 7 may come out by the holiday season.