Could new 64-bit PCs soon become the norm rather than the exception? If the latest data from Microsoft is any indication, we're well on our way there. Here are the numbers Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc posted on the official Windows blog late yesterday:
Yes, you're reading that right. As of June 2010, 46% of Windows 7 systems run a 64-bit version of the operating system, versus 54% for 32-bit. I'm not sure why there's a "Total" column in there, since one would hope the numbers add up to 100%, but you get the idea. x64 really seems to be taking off.
LeBlanc names a few reasons for this broad adoption: cheaper RAM, more 64-bit CPUs, more compatible hardware and software, and more businesses jumping ship. Market research firm Gartner reportedly expects that 75% of all business PCs will run an x64 version of Windows by 2014. We've certainly seen our fair share of pre-built consumer systems running a 64-bit edition of Windows 7, as well. (Thanks to Ars Technica for the link.)