Essential But Not Sufficient
Microsoft is estimating an x86-64 beta OS for Hammers by the end of September, with a final product by the end of this year, early next.
While this is necessary, and certainly would be bad if it didn’t happen, in-and-of-itself, it’s not great news.
Based on all the Hammer benchmarks we’ve seen so far, Hammer processors are going to need x86-64 to shine. This makes availability of x86-64 software over the next six months to a year critical.
The Hammer platform is like a house, and software is furniture for the house.
Getting an MS x86-64 OS for the desktop is like getting a kitchen table and chairs for the house. You certainly want that; it’s a lot better than eating from the floor, but you’d hardly call the house fully furnished once you got that.
What prospective Hammer buyers should be watching very closely in the months ahead is the other software that gets ported over to x86-64.
So far, there haven’t been a lot of Windows desktop applications/games where the makers have declared that’s they’re going to go for it. Actually, there’s been practically none.
Yes, it’s still fairly early, but it’s something to keep an eye on. When the product debuts, look to see how many and which software companies are there raising their hands and saying, “Me, too.”
I’m not talking about having products ready; that would be too much to expect on the Windows side by late September. I’m talking about declarations of intention, as in, “We’re going to have this.”
The AMD-Linux “Conspiracy” 🙂
Since there are many conspiratorially-minded folks out there, let’s talk about the Linux “conspiracy.”
It goes like this:
Everyone in the world is foaming at the mouth for x86-64 systems, but fumbling, bumbling Microsoft and their lackeys are too lame to realize this.
But don’t worry. The good, heroic open source guys have been porting to x86-64 left and right, so when Athlon64 is ready, so will they.
Come September, that fearsome combination will inevitably sweep away all in its path. Millions and millions of former Microsoft slaves will break their chains and form mega-armies that will crush Wintel like a bug run over by a Mack truck.
There are people out there who actually believe this. 🙂
Sorry, but this is an act of mutual delusion.
Linux for x86-64 will do well (and likely somewhat better) in those areas where Linux x86-32 is currently doing well, and poorly where 32-bit Linux is already doing badly.
This just isn’t going to be a desktop breakthrough for Linux. The reasons why people don’t go to Linux now on the desktop will still be there.
Not even AMD thinks such an event will occur. Relatively few Hammers of any type are going to be made in the fourth quarter, probably less than a half-million. The first big upsurge will occur right around the time Windows x86-64 will become available.
Sorry, but outside of a few niches, this is a Windows world, and Joe Sixpack is going to need the equivalent of nuclear weapons to get him away from it. Since Joe really wants Windows for Morons, which is the opposite of what the average geek wants, this isn’t going to happen.