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Microsoft Working on 128-bit Windows

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 124 comments

That's a lot of bits.

Just before the world receives Windows 7, there are already rumblings of a generation-after-next version of Windows that will come in a 128-bit flavor.

Eightforums spotted in Microsoft Senior Research & Development employee Robert Morgan's LinkedIn profile that he was working IA-128 for the next two generations of Windows.

The update to Morgan's profile, which has since been removed, read as follows:

"Robert Morgan is working to get IA-128 working backwards with full binary compatibility on the existing IA-64 instructions in the hardware simulation to work for Windows 8 and definitely Windows 9."

While progress is no surprise, especially since many expect that 64-bit will become the majority for Windows 7, it's somewhat of a revelation if 128-bit software will be available just one generation from now.

Stay tuned, as Morgan has agreed to a short Q&A with Eightforums. We'll be recapping the best bits for you as soon as they're available.

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  • 28 Hide
    Jerky_san , October 9, 2009 5:51 PM
    Great.. now we will have 128bit when barely anyone supports 64..
  • 21 Hide
    tayb , October 9, 2009 5:48 PM
    Oh man, 64 bit was considered the "holy grail" and that was all that we would need. No more limitations. 128 bit is crazy. I don't think it will be necessary or relevant really until Windows 9 or 10. 64-bit on the Windows side still doesn't see mass adoption because of all the older computers that aren't 64-bit capable.

    I wonder how long until we see 128-bit processors? AMD64 was a hit and they've been underwhelming since then maybe they'll make a comeback with AMD128 lol.
  • 15 Hide
    Supertrek32 , October 9, 2009 5:49 PM
    Will 128-bit be incompatible with 32-bit software the same way 64 is incompatible with 16? If so, it'll be a long time before this happens, considering 90% of software out right now is 32bit...
Other Comments
  • 21 Hide
    tayb , October 9, 2009 5:48 PM
    Oh man, 64 bit was considered the "holy grail" and that was all that we would need. No more limitations. 128 bit is crazy. I don't think it will be necessary or relevant really until Windows 9 or 10. 64-bit on the Windows side still doesn't see mass adoption because of all the older computers that aren't 64-bit capable.

    I wonder how long until we see 128-bit processors? AMD64 was a hit and they've been underwhelming since then maybe they'll make a comeback with AMD128 lol.
  • 15 Hide
    Supertrek32 , October 9, 2009 5:49 PM
    Will 128-bit be incompatible with 32-bit software the same way 64 is incompatible with 16? If so, it'll be a long time before this happens, considering 90% of software out right now is 32bit...
  • 28 Hide
    Jerky_san , October 9, 2009 5:51 PM
    Great.. now we will have 128bit when barely anyone supports 64..
  • 4 Hide
    jn77 , October 9, 2009 5:51 PM
    So, 128 bit windows on a 128bit computer with 100 TB hard drive space, and 32 tb ram, with 512 core processor.... How would that affect the ability for me to edit 1080p HD video? in comparison with todays hardware....
  • 0 Hide
    jn77 , October 9, 2009 5:55 PM
    JN77So, 128 bit windows on a 128bit computer with 100 TB hard drive space, and 32 tb ram, with 512 core processor.... How would that affect the ability for me to edit 1080p HD video? in comparison with todays hardware....



    It would be nice to edit HD Video at double or quad speed (2x or 4x) edit 1 hour of HD video in 15 minutes..... I remember the days of doing that with video tapes... digital is so behind......
  • 8 Hide
    bmxmon , October 9, 2009 5:57 PM
    It would probably still crash :p  JK
  • -1 Hide
    hannibal , October 9, 2009 6:04 PM
    In reality: There is never a thing like "Nobody needs more memory than xxx" "It's overkill" "When we have xxxxx We don't need faster computers"...
    Maybe this mean that win8 is released "only" 64bit and 128bit versions?
    "The old 32bit king is dead, Long live the new 64bit king!
    Maybe?
  • -1 Hide
    bison88 , October 9, 2009 6:04 PM
    I don't think Windows 8 should have any 128 bit support at all. It may sound soon but we are speaking 2 generations ahead and given MS timescale of about 4 years or so for a complete upgrade OS that buys us at least 8 years from now. That is a long way away. Of course people look towards the "memory" factor when they weigh in 32 vs 64 but there are some other incentives that just aren't relevant right now mostly because people still don't want to make the switch even after 6 years and software developers don't want to focus just on 64 bit when the majority is still 32 bit. Its a stalemate and up to the consumers to get off there ass and move forward, can't always blame the developers and companies who want to progress and spend the money doing so. You as a consumer have to want it to happen.

    That being said it will either be a flop or a success depending on who breaks the stalemate first. 128 bit is not neccessary for the consumer market IMO but for the corporations and the government it could become useful since they have there own teams designing software for there needs anyways.

    Don't just think 128 bit will support 100 million googlillion gigabytes of ram. I am still waiting on 16GB sticks of ram like the rest of everyone now that I made the switch, not like much uses anything near that much anyways but still its nice to be ahead of the technology times for once and not worry about upgrading at least one peripheral every 3 months. I guess 8GB will have to do, until next time see you all when we are all running Windows 9. :) 
  • 4 Hide
    izliecies , October 9, 2009 6:05 PM
    What is the point of going higher than 64 bit?
  • 0 Hide
    pbrigido , October 9, 2009 6:11 PM
    I don't understand the negativity around this. We are finally getting software ahead of hardware when it comes to this.

    To answer the question, "What is the point of going higher than 64 bit?" Let me respond with a rhetorical question. What is the point of going from 16 bit to 32 bit....or 32bit to 64 bit?
  • 5 Hide
    ssalim , October 9, 2009 6:12 PM
    izlieciesWhat is the point of going higher than 64 bit?


    So they have stuff to do.
  • 0 Hide
    tpi2007 , October 9, 2009 6:14 PM
    If Microsoft is really working on a 128-bit version of Windows that brings up an even more interesting question: does that mean Intel and /or AMD is working on a 128-bit processor ? And what is the exact need for this ? Faster processing without the addition of more cores/higher frequency? I have an entry level Pentium E2140 on a secondary PC and Windows 7 Experience Index gives it a 4,3 when under Win 7 32-bit and jumps to 4,6 when under Win 7 64-bit.
  • -6 Hide
    the_krasno , October 9, 2009 6:14 PM
    With all those bits to spare I would expect backwards compatibility with 32 and 64 bits...
  • 9 Hide
    jblack , October 9, 2009 6:15 PM
    izlieciesWhat is the point of going higher than 64 bit?



    Amen! With 64 bit you can support up to 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 bytes of RAM. I don't see us hitting that anytime soon.
  • 0 Hide
    pbrigido , October 9, 2009 6:23 PM
    "With 64 bit you can support up to 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 bytes of RAM. I don't see us hitting that anytime soon."

    True, but there is nothing wrong having software already prepared to handle new hardware once it is introduced into the market.
  • -1 Hide
    quantum mask , October 9, 2009 6:28 PM
    Does anyone know off hand how much RAM 128 bit processors will support? I know that, depending on OS limitations, a 64 bit processor can address 16EB (exebytes) of memory. How much for 128 bit?
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