With all the talk about Vista debuting for a few, and upgrade coupons all around, one issue has been sidetracked a bit: 32 vs 64-bit versions.
Let’s start with the good news first. As this site states:
“Virtually every Windows Vista product edition (with the exception of Starter) ships with both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) versions on the same DVD. Microsoft expects the computer buying public to switch to x64 during Vista’s lifetime.”
So, no, you won’t have to worry about having to decide between the two, and maybe end up buying the both of them.
But, you might ask, why would anyone end up having to do that? Provided you have a 64-bit processor, wouldn’t the only sane decision be to use the 64-bit version.
Well, not really, for a few reasons.
First, up to now, 32-bit games seems to run slower using the 64-bit version as opposed to 32-bit. That will no doubt greatly disturb some
Second, and more importantly, there’s the matter of Vista drivers. For any device that needs a driver, in 32-bit, if there’s no Vista driver, an XP driver might work. For 64-bit, if there’s no 64-bit Vista driver, no 32-bit XP driver will work, period.
To add to the travail, for 64-bit Vista, all drivers must be digitally signed. That’s different from a WHQL driver, which is a driver that was sent and tested by MS, but getting a driver signed costs money (it needs to be verified by a third-party), and I’ve installed plenty of unsigned XP drivers coming from multinational corporations, so that’s potentially another problem.
So, in short, instead of having one set of driver problems as a result of an OS change, we’re going to have two: one from going from XP to 32-bit Vista, and another going from XP to 64-bit Vista. People will no doubt confuse the two types of Vista drivers.
Forewarned is forearmed.