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Trade-up to WinXp-64

Cool Tech

April 25, 2005 11:14 AM PST

You can trade-up your 32bit windows to 64bit XP from now until July 31, 2005. Before you take the plunge however, you need to make sure you can track down 64bit drivers for all the stuff you use. This is a clean install only, so migrating data is up to you.
Here is a nice quote from the Technology Advancement Program site: "Purchasing technology can be frustrating—the minute you buy something, the new version becomes available. We understand this frustration..."

Comments (22)
John, April 25, 2005 11:17 AM:

Forgot to add that the cost of shipping and handling is $12.00 USD.

J, April 25, 2005 12:00 PM:

So Apple refuses to do any kind of pro-rated discount for Tiger, but XP 64 comes out at $12. Sweet! De-facto cost leader rocks.

J, April 25, 2005 12:45 PM:

The stupid upgrade form wants a COA or ProductID. I don't have either of these since I built my own machine. I entered part of the activation key and it let me go on, but "We are unable to process your request at this time. Please try again. If you continue to experience difficulty please email customer service at". Seems like a generic error, not sure if it's related to the product key I typed.

Why don't they just take my $12, ship the CD and let me worry about finding a legal activation key. Isn't that what the activation process is for anyway? Frustrating.

And what's with Microsoft farming out credit card processing? All of a sudden I'm entering credit card info on "". I check the certificate, and sure enough, it's signed by verisign. But that only means that I'm really talking to - how do I know who they are? MS doesn't appear to try very hard at preventing phishing when their own policies have you switching domains to enter your credit card info!

J, April 25, 2005 12:48 PM:

John - as for your quote, I think they're referring to the actual ACT OF PURCHASING this upgrade as what's frustrating. LOL!

J, April 25, 2005 12:50 PM:

Quote from
The clearest impact of 64-bit computing is the ability to deal with more than 4GB of physical memory. However, only the most sophisticated applications and databases are bumping up against this limit today. Down the road, though, Allchin said whole new ways of computing will open up. Imagine, how fast searching might be if all of one's e-mail, for example, were loaded into memory.
Idiots. They just don't get it. How can this be the clearest impact when most user PCs have 1GB or less. It's about the ALU and register sizes you marketing fools!

John, April 25, 2005 02:14 PM:

I know the addressable space is a sore subject with you. At least they listed performance as #1 on the windows site:

Top Reasons to Get Win64

"more data per clock cycle, making them run faster"

Paul, April 25, 2005 03:25 PM:

I'm sure that WinXP-64 is teh l33t, but I'm worried that my apps or hardware may or may not work completely.

I'm just not up to reinstalling everything just to test it, since I have no need for 64 bit anything right now. I don't want to repeat the 64 bit Fedora Core 3 fun I had a while back.

John, April 25, 2005 08:12 PM:

We'll just see how long you last once J and I start posting on our coolness. (Being hopeful here.) As for my box, The only thing I put on it was HL2. I couldn't bring myself to migrate over to it since I 'thought' XP64 was due out any day.

John, April 25, 2005 09:59 PM:

Ok I give up. I don't know what sort of voodoo is required to make that upgrade form happy. How sad is it that I actualy work there and I can't figure out how to get a copy of XP 64.

John, April 25, 2005 11:00 PM:

Geez that was a pain. After trolling on forums all day I got a 'hit'. Turns out that the 'product ID' is not the product key, but is the number that is returned when you get the properties for My Computer on the installed system. It's the unlabled number that appears just under the name XP is registered to. Ok that was obvious.

Got mine ordered now.

Paul, April 28, 2005 09:32 AM:

If this article is correct, and you can't go back to regular XP after installing XP64, I'm definitely not going to do it:

John, April 28, 2005 11:34 AM:

You won't do it because?? Consider it this way, you bought 64 bits and are only use 32. Yes that is the price you pay for being an early adopter. Here is what you do, get an MS 'friend' to gift you another copy of XP32, then consider the $12.00 plus your original cost as the price of 64bit. Intall them both as dual boot.

Sigh, I hate feeling the need to defend MS against articles like this. (The comments on the article are even worse.) It just makes me sound like I'm spitting out the company line. Heavy sigh. I guess much of it is MS's fault for not getting the message out. As usual, here are some of my favorite quotes:

"product that’s been delayed by almost two years and features nothing new but for 64-bit support." - Well those two years were spent doing much more than just 64bit. Most of that work was in XP sp2 and Server Sp1. XP64 includes all of these fixes / enhancements plus a new version of the kernel, 5.2 - same as Server.

"...this upgrade program is only valid for PCs that came shipped with Windows XP preinstalled so most enthusiasts are out of luck." - Um, lie. I was able to order a CD from a retail pro version.

Here is the bottom line, no BS or petty zealotry:

Major platform shifts are hard. People resist change, but change is inevitable. It is always a chicken or the egg problem. Can't build 64 bit apps or drivers without a 64 bit OS, can't have a 64bit OS without a 64bit chip. Why make a 64bit chip if there is no OS? I have to give full credit to this current x86 platform shift to AMD. They went out on a limb here and eventually we will all benefit.

The biggest challenge to Window 64bit adoption is drivers. MS does not write all the drivers, the vendors do. The main reason XP64 has been delayed so long was lack of driver support. In the end MS has not been very successful in motivating hardware vendors to write 64bit drivers. But what motivation to the vendors have? Chicken and the egg again. The only real motivation will be when the consumers demand for the drivers either directly or by purchasing products from competitors that have them. That's the way the economy works. So MS has no choice but to do a targeted XP64 release (OEM and enthusiast) with limited driver support.

If you do 64bit now are you taking some risks - sure. But somebody has to do it. That's what early adopters are for. I'll keep you posted on how my experience goes. I have very mainstream hardware so I'm not expecting any bumps.

John, April 28, 2005 12:00 PM:

Oh and before someone brings up Tiger lets set some things straight. Tiger is not a full 64bit OS (it has 64bit extensions and support for 64bit non-GUI apps). The kernel and GUI subsytem are 32 bit. The Apply recommended implementation approach for apps that need both is to write a 64 bit background process to do the 'heavy lifting' and communicate with a 32bit GUI process via IPC or shared memory. - Not quite as easy as "recompile your app."

Tiger: Developing 64-bit Applications

Paul, April 28, 2005 12:04 PM:

I think it's my confusion about what the policy is. I'd love to run XP64, but I'm worried that if something goes wrong (graphics drivers, etc) I won't be able to revert. At least, that was what the article was stating, not that they are the authority or anything.

Changing platforms is definitely hard, no question, I just want to be able to go back to 32-bit-werld if I have to revert.

John, April 28, 2005 12:12 PM:

I hear you. The policy seems pretty clear, unfortunatly, your 32bit OS becomes unlicensed. That's a drag. I wonder how this will be handled in Longhorn. Longhorn will ship with 32 and 64 bit versions in the same box, so maybe you'll be able to choose which one to install. (I'm not holding back, I honestly don't know).

Paul, April 28, 2005 12:35 PM:

I heard on one of the WinHEC blogs that Longhorn would have both 32 and 64 bit installs on the same disk, and that you choose at install time. That would be sweet!

Can you make sure that Visual Studio and Longhorn ship on DVD? I really hate the "Please insert CD n to continue" messages.

J, May 6, 2005 12:10 AM:

[H]ard|OCP has an overview of gaming on Windows x64. In summary, there's no real performance downfall on cards with supported drivers, but there's no performance boost until games are compiled specifically for the processor. A glitch is noted is that Steam refused to install into the default 32 bit Program files directory becuase it contains parentheses. Those are valid, but I wonder how many other apps will have this problem? Why not keep the 32 bit directory "Program Files" and make the 64 bit directory "Program Files (x64)"?

John, May 6, 2005 09:34 AM:

The trade-offs on the Wow64 implementation are numerous. Maybe I'll try and do a summary someday. Yes it is going to be a bit strange for a while.

I think my first target 64bit app will video encoding. I think that with all the hard drive space I have I'd like to try and keep a collection of movies on rotation for use with the home theater. I'll probably use Divx or Xvid with AC3 audio. I know there are 64bit versions of Xvid and VirtualDub floating around. I've seen perf benchmarks of 64bit Divx somewhere but I can't figure out how to download the encoder. As I recall there was a 20 - 30% encoding boost with Divx on 64 bit. I've been away from mpeg 4 encoding for a couple of years though so I'll have to startup a research project to catch up.

John, May 16, 2005 10:07 PM:

Order status still says 'pending'. Rumor is 4-6 weeks to ship. Lame. OEM orders are starting to get filled now.

John, June 8, 2005 01:23 AM:

Ok it's been 6 weeks and my xp64 trade-up order still says pending. There is no excuse for this.

John, June 28, 2005 12:18 AM:

Status update: It's been 2 months and now my status says: "Order has been received. You will be charged at the time of order shipment."

Did I mention there is no excuse for this?

Paul, June 28, 2005 12:27 AM:

Why don't you tell Scoble? All you have to do is mention that your order status doesn't have RSS feeds, blogs or podcasts, and he'll get medieval on their asses.

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