Don’t go from XP to Vista unless you go 64-bit

Stuart johnston
By Stuart J. Johnston

Early indications are that Windows 7 won’t be a major upgrade from Vista.

But the real choice isn’t between Vista and Windows 7; it’s between moving to a 64-bit version of Windows now or later.

The bottom line is that if you’re using XP, there’s no point in upgrading to 32-bit Vista. It doesn’t make sense to upgrade your operating system without upgrading to 64-bit hardware and software in order to get the most out of both. Allow me to explain.

Despite Microsoft’s best attempts to keep a lid on the next version of Windows — code-named Windows 7 — details about the new OS’s features are slipping out. The early word is that the successor to Vista, which is due to ship in early 2010, won’t be much different from Vista Service Pack 1.

To date, Microsoft has said only that the next version of Windows will launch within three years after the consumer release of Vista, which debuted officially in January 2007. A recent report by InternetNews.com pegs Microsoft’s current schedule as having the OS ready for PC manufacturers in June 2009, substantially earlier than advertised.

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