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64-bit XP to be Generally Available Oct. 25

Microsoft Corp. confirmed that Windows XP 64-bit Edition will be generally available on Oct. 25, the same general availability date for its 32-bit versions -- Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional.

Availability of the 64-bit version of Windows XP will mean Microsoft has a formal, supported 64-bit operating systems available for clients.

After Intel released its long-awaited 64-bit Itanium processors in May, Microsoft met its promises for making its 64-bit operating system available at the same time as the processor by introducing what were effectively production-supported beta versions.

Windows XP 64-bit Edition has been available through an Early Deployment Program that allowed OEMs to ship pre-release Windows XP with 64-bit workstations and provided customer support direct from Microsoft.

Last week, Microsoft announced the general availability of the parallel version for servers, 64-bit Windows Advanced Server Limited Edition, which is a fully supported beta version of the forthcoming Windows .NET Advanced Server. Compaq, Dell, HP and IBM are expected to begin shipping the first 64-bit servers at the end of this month.

The server version should become a regularly released product sometime next year when Microsoft releases 64-bit versions of Windows .NET Advanced Server and Windows .NET Datacenter Server. Customers who buy the Limited Edition are eligible for a free upgrade to Windows .NET Advanced Server when it ships.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.