My poor old Acer Netbook, 7 years old and going strong, isn't 64 bit, and runs Linux Mint very well.
My ZG5 is currently running Win XP, Fedora 24 and Ubuntu 16.04 Mate. I'n hesitant to try Windows 10 on an Atom N270 with only 1GB RAM.
Remember when laptops were as big as a phone books? Like in the 166 MHz ThinkPad 380 days.
You must mean back in the Tandy 1400 LT days. Either that, or you must have had a very small phone book in your neck of the woods.
The wider the deployment, the harder you have to think about all the cases, all the chances for exploits, and how to recover when it happens. The alternative is going to be government regulation like certain industries already have. The cost of getting things right will pale in comparison to complying with strict regulation from a government agency.
~$ rpm -q yum
Asynchronous inputs are at the root of our race problems. -- D. Winker and F. Prosser