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64-Bit Computing Meets Resistance

Intel's plan for 64-bit computing was to redesign the processor completely to optimize 64-bit operations and overcome x86 limitations--and maybe any x86 cross-licensing. Unfortunately, the resulting Itanium processor line is an expensive niche product that doesn't natively support legacy 32-bit apps and requires a software redesign.

Perhaps a conversion to 64-bit computing will result in the end of the x86 processing model, but it's hard not to like the performance and smooth transitional path of AMD's x86-64 processors. With 31 different 64-bit models available, AMD has a head start on the 64-bit desktop, but the lead is not insurmountable for Intel. Start pushing your software developers and vendors for faster 64-bit software development. The hardware is ready, and the performance payoff is substantial.