Mark Henderson asked:
Server software has been 64-bit only for a while now (Since Server 2008 R2 for Windows, even earlier for Exchange and Sharepoint) and even Ubuntu are pushing you away from 32-bit versions for their server OSes.
But is there any good, quantifiable reason to keep a 32-bit desktop operating system maintained? We’re preparing our Windows 8 images for the (unfortunate?) few that will be early adopters.
The majority of our desktop computers have 4gb or less of RAM, but I would love to not have to bother supporting a 32-bit flavoured operating system any more.
Any reason why I should?
Anything that will run Windows 8 is already 64-bit capable, unless you happen to have some first-generation Intel Atom netbooks (and I doubt that very much). That’s about the only thing I can think of.
AMD released its first 64-bit capable Opteron in 2003; and since then virtually every processor they have made has been 64-bit capable.
Intel was a year later, releasing its first 64-bit Xeon (Nocona) in 2004, and expanding to just about the entire product line by 2006. Aside from the aforementioned early Atom chips, every Intel processor today is 64-bit.
Wikipedia has a broken down processor list if you’re interested in ancient history.
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