Saturday 7 June 2008

Windows XP 64 bit - a relatively unknown but great operating system

A few weeks ago I got a new beefy machine and the guy who was setting it up asked me if I wanted to try XP 64 bit. At the beginning I didn't see any compelling reason to move to a new platform but then I realized that XP 32 bit is not going to take full advantage of 4GB of RAM and I decided to give it a try. I'm glad that I've made that decision as it turned out that XP 64 bit is superior to XP 32 bit as a foundation for software development.
  • XP 64 bit can leverage all 4GB of RAM which allows me to run 4/5 instances of VS.NET, SQL Server, Outlook, Firefox and a dozen of background applications without any noticeable performance degradation.
  • XP 64 bit shares core components with Windows Server 2003 which would explain its great performance and reliability.
  • XP 64 bit comes with IIS 6.0. I suppose I don't have to explain why this is big. If my point is not clear to you, just compare IIS 5.1 and IIS 6.0 and you will immediately understand what I'm talking about.
I asked quite a few software developers about XP 64 bit and none of them has ever considered installing it. It looks like the Marketing Department at Microsoft is very busy coming up with even longer names of Microsoft products :) and they have no time to market one of the best systems they've released.


  1. Windows XP in this day and age? I would have thought you'd have gone for Windows Vista or 2008. :-)

  2. Hi John,
    I'm not big fan of Vista but I suppose it's been enough said on the Internet regarding that topic :). On the other hand I like Windows 2008 and use it on Production boxes. Unfortunately Windows 2008 is not cheap and all I was offered regarding my desktop was XP 32, XP 64, Vista 32 or Vista 64.

  3. I've found Windows XP 64-bit is a great OS to run if you want something stable and that supports more than 4GB RAM. Most newer hardware usually has drivers for it.

    In this benchmark it did very well with Large RAM among other things:

    I recommend setting up a dual boot with XP 32-bit first and try it.