64-bit Windows is Here

Yesterday was a truly remarkable day. Not since Windows NT 3.1 released in 1993 have we seen such a shift in computing on Windows to another architecture. Windows Server 2003 SP1 for x64 and Windows XP Professional for x64 were released to manufacturing (RTM). While Windows Server 2003 was RTM’d for the Intel Itanium (ia64) in March of 2003 as I blogged about in February, the x64 RTM of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional are remarkable in that the x64 architecture is capable of running both 32- and 64-bit applications natively.

There’s even a countdown clock for Windows Server 2003 x64 Editions with more information about the platform, and you can read more about Windows XP Professional for x64 as well.

The existing Platform SDK (PSDK) for Windows Server 2003 (and older, supported Windows platforms) already supports both x86 and IA64, with both cross compilers and x86 and IA64 libraries. MSDN Subscribers can download the PSDK for Windows Server 2003 SP1 now, which includes cross compilers and libraries for all of x86, IA64, and x64. The release of Visual Studio 2005 will also include the compilers and libraries for all three supported architectures, as well as both the 32- and 64-bit VC++ libraries. The PSDK ships with ATL, MFC, and CRT libraries compatible with VC++ 6.0, but if you’re an ISV that needs the x64 libraries compatible with VC++ 7.1 you may contact libs7164@microsoft.com. Read http://blogs.msdn.com/nikolad/archive/2005/01/25/360634.aspx for more information.