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+ - Why do companies forget about 64bit ports? 5

Submitted by Vincenzo "Enzo" Romano
Vincenzo "Enzo" Romano (881055) writes "It's clear that 64bit CPUs are here to stay.
When almost 25 years ago 32bit CPUs started being used into PCs, 32bit OSes were available only to academic and large corporate data centers.
It took years to get a fully working 32bit environment on the desk and on the laps.
Nowadays, instead, almost all closed and open source OSes have a 64bit port available. What's still lacking is full native 64bit port for applications.
Well, there's nothing wrong with 32bit applications in a 64bit OS!
Skype, Acrobat Reader and Google Gears are just few among famous and ubuquitous applications that do not directly support the 64bit architectures, thanks to the ability to be run in 32bit mode.
On the other hand, a number of other equally famous applications do support it, namely Mozilla Firefox and Flash Player.
My question to you all is: why on Earth?
Is it a matter of laziness or what? Are all those applications so tightly tied to the 32bit world that a port would be imprectical?
Or is it just an "I don't care yet" approach?"
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Why do companies forget about 64bit ports?

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  • Because it's cheaper to press a disc for the 32-bit PlayStation than to make a cartridge for the 64-bit Nintendo 64, and Sony offers much faster turnaround for reorders (a week vs. months).

    [Oh wait, wrong 64-bit.]

  • I haven't had a problem finding 64bit versions of all of the software I use...but that's probably because I run a Free Software OS (Ubuntu) and try to use only Free Software on it. Even if there was some software that didn't have a 64bit version, I could probably recompile the 32bit code to run on my current OS.

    You state that Skype, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and Google Gears can all run in 32bit compatibility mode, so I'm not sure what the point is there. My choice is to use native 64bit versions of Ekiga and G

    • Running 32bit mode on 64bit architectures is like running 16bit DOS on 32bit PCs.
      Not all open source solutions work fine. In my Ubuntu GNASH eats 100% of the CPU for nothing and Evince fails with newer formats I receive.
      Can Ekiga allow you to contact Skype people?
  • 1. Most often 32bit software is enough as the expanded memory space is not needed.
    2. It's confusing for the customer to see two versions of the binary. They inevitably ask "which one do I use?".
    3.The 32bit glue layer in a 64bit OS has minimal overhead, so performance is not an issue. Also 32bit will run on 64bit, but not vice versa.
    So, generally speaking, it makes sense to only do 32bit apps because there is no gain for going 64bit unless there is an actual need for >4GB addressing.

    • 1. Most often 32bit software is enough as the expanded memory space is not needed.

      I't not just a matter of addressing (which is actually 48bit). It's a matter of supporting newer instruction sets and architectures.
      This should be why Intel, AMD and friends invest in research.

      2. It's confusing for the customer to see two versions of the binary. They inevitably ask "which one do I use?".

      You already have to choose among operating systems (at least Windows, Linux and OS X) and very often among package formats and desktop interfaces.

      3.The 32bit glue layer in a 64bit OS has minimal overhead, so performance is not an issue. Also 32bit will run on 64bit, but not vice versa.

      In my case, 32bit applications tend to eat up to 100% of my CPU!

      So, generally speaking, it makes sense to only do 32bit apps because there is no gain for going 64bit unless there is an actual need for >4GB addressing.

      It's not just addressing, though. And finally, what'd be a 64bit CPU for when running programs? Just the ker

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