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Old 27. Jan 2012, 05:07 PM   #128 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New Zealand
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Originally Posted by wdhpr View Post
It looks like everyone will eventually use 64bit operating systems but it seems the transition has been allot rougher than the 16 to 32 bit transition.
How soon we all forget. The earlier transitions were very different.

8-bit to 16-bit 8086 was source code and addressing (segmentation) compatible so no big deal when IBM PC came out with 16-bit 8088 CPU. The PC also ran 8-bit peripherals and when they were later dropped there was lots of angst and pain.

In 1985 the 32-bit 80386 CPU came out about 4 years before Windows. So it took 10 years to get 32-bit Windows 95. There were never any 8-bit apps to drop so 16-bit apps continued for another 11 years until Vista.

Windows 64-bit versions came out the same year as each of the Itanium and x64 CPU architectures so we didn't have to wait 10 years this time. But this time there were two compatible software types 16-bit and 32-bit. Fortunately, Microsoft dropped 16-bit so for the first time we have a transition that is not source compatible. That is the only thing making it rougher for people as drivers can't be simply ported to 32-bit.

The main part of the transition is 32-bit to 64-bit and that is actually much smoother and better managed than the 16-bit to 32-bit transition. And we're only 9 years into the transition.
Better to light a candle ... than to curse the darkness.
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