It is truly amazing how much influence Microsoft has on the industry as a whole. The company is so influential that it's able to predict the rate at which a technology is adopted--and it all stems from the life cycles of its software and product releases.
Even though it may look like 64-bit computing has been embraced by the industry and the technology does have a following, the fact of the matter is that the rate at which it has been adopted has been somewhat of a disappointment to system builders. White-box builders are optimistic that the application software will soon follow once the 64-bit Windows XP operating system is released, which will broaden their sales around 64-bit technology and help move 64-bit systems.
Microsoft has communicated to the channel that it will see 64-bit Windows sometime in the second quarter. The release will open the floodgates for further software development, which will provide significant performance benefits to business computing, such as video editing and database applications.
While there are performance benefits to running in 32-bit mode, the real trump card will be 64-bit application software development. The release of the 64-bit Windows XP OS will trigger an enormous application outcry, which will finally result in some serious benefits to the 64-bit technology.
Without question, AMD for the past couple of years has brought 64-bit technology to the forefront, and the chip maker is responsible for a lot of the steam that the platform has gained within the industry. But until Microsoft releases its 64-bit OS, mainstream culture will be not embrace the platform.