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  1. #1
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    Question 64 Bit Programs - when?

    In 2012 I got a fast new computer with a 1.5 TB hard drive and Windows 7 HP 64 bit. At that time I was told that there would be more and more 64 bit programs coming out as time went by. Well, here it is 2015, and the only program on my computer (other than almost every Microsoft program) that has installed itself in the 64 bit Program Files folder is CCleaner! Please excuse me for asking, but what happened? In three years (computer years) you would think we should be seeing more true 64 bit programs. Even the so called AVG Free 2015 "64 bit version" installed itself in Program Files (x86) which is where all of the other 32 bit programs are. It looks like MS has cornered the market on 64 bit programs but I doubt if that's the case. Comments are welcome!

  2. #2
    jwoods
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    I think a lot of it has to do with the driver signing requirements for 64-bit applications.

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    The dearth of 64-bit application programs is more likely inertia on the part of the software vendors. They don't see why spending the time and money is needed when their program(s) continue to run well. It is seldom just a re-compile from 32 to 64 bit. Every data structure must be reviewed. All the code must be reviewed to see if assumptions have been made for a 32-bit environment that are no longer necessary and/or valid for a 64-bit environment. It will most likely take removal of 32-bit support for many of the vendors to move.

    Joe

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    There are many true 64 bit programs, the real question for you is; do you really need to use any of them.

    True 64 bit programs will allow the utilization of memory not possible with 32 bit application. Many common light weight,
    low memory applications do not need to utilize more memory. In these categories of applications, they are 32 bit apps that are
    simply 64 bit OS compatible and will therefore install to the x86 dir.


    Antivirus programs hardly count as they are very unlikely to use or need anything near 3GB memory in their operations, as opposed
    to an application like 64 bit Photoshop. (which can easily utilize more memory)
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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    It matters little where the programs are installed, check in Task Manager/Processes for 3rd party programs without *.32 to see which software are using x64 'front ends'.

    Those that need to use drivers to work at a level close to Windows kernel need to use x64 drivers, they might still be controlled by an x86 GUI.

    I have 11x non-MS programs currently running, 5 are x64, 6 are x86.

    Generally, you still have to look specifically for x64 software/versions, most default to offering an x86 version or an x86 GUI version as there's not a technical need for many programs to switch to x64.

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    Microsoft Office 2010 is the first of the office suites to be available as either 32-bit or 64-bit.

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    There are a few 64 bit programs already. I can count Chrome, WinZip, SQL Server, GoodSync and TeamViewer (which also has some 32 bit components) running at the moment on my laptop.

    As said, I think the real question is whether any of your current apps could benefit from using more memory than allowed by 32 bit apps. Those that do, most likely have 64 bit versions.
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    If I was developing software I would want to target all computers, not just 64bit ones, so I'd write 32bit software - how many XP/W7 32bit computers are out there?

    cheers, Paul

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Some software needs to have Ring0 drivers to work efficiently, others need access to more than 4GB of RAM. Sure, away from security/backup software, heavy image/video editors and high detailed gaming, you could still mostly get away with offering 32-bit only.

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    ...how many XP/W7 32bit computers are out there?...
    Big heaps.

    The main reasons for running 64bit software are to allow use of more RAM, and to fully utilise the multi-threading capabilities of newer CPUs - IOW to take full advantage of advances in hardware technologies.

    From a software POV there is fairly little advantage w/ 64bit unless there is a need to manipulate very large files (> 2GB). So for most users running a 64bit version of Windows allows best system performance as far as the OS goes; but when it comes to installed programs the question is somewhat confused.

    If the installed program is used to load/manipulate fairly small files (<1GB) then a 32bit version will be more-than-sufficient running under a 64bit OS.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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  11. #11
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    One of my sons uses Microsoft Office 2007 on his 32-bit Vista laptop. He just got a Win7 64-bit laptop and I'm planning on uninstalling the Microsoft Office 2007 from the Vista and installing it on his Win7. Will Microsoft Office 2007 run on the 64-bit laptop?

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    @ cmptrgy #11 post

    Yes, you should be able to install the 32bit version of MS Office 2007 under Win7 64bit. In fact that is exactly what I have on my system; no problems.
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    Many thanks to all of you for that information! It all makes sense to me now since I saw pretty much the same thing with 32 bit programs after Win 95B was released. Most programs were still 16 bit for awhile after. Most programs now are just 64 bit compatible. Once again I'm a bit smarter because of this website.

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    Great question. A lot of reasonable guesses as to the "why?" Until there is consumer demand for and a reason to demand 64-bit apps ... 32-bit apps will remain the only choice for most apps.
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2015-05-20 at 19:07.

  16. #15
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    There aren't any guesses here, you'll either have a REAL need to run a high performance 64 bit app or you won't.
    In which case you're going to be paying top dollar for code that someone has to painstakingly write.

    Your demand is coming from scientific and other groups who actually have higher performance NEEDS, not
    the average consumer who's been moving toward smaller devices.

    The average consumer in this instance is unimportant and is ONLY along for the ride, 32 bit is actually stiflingly limited.
    Those groups that have the need are the ones pushing the technology and they're overwhelmingly in the scientific/engineering community of users.
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