Microsoft To Train 10,000 System Builders On x64 Windows

The Redmond, Wash., software giant plans to do "a lot of training in the system builder channel" to educate them and their customers on the capabilities of the x64 version of Windows 2003, Gates said at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2005 in Seattle. Microsoft is releasing Windows x64 at the show this week.

"We want everyone to understand at the server level that the benefits [of 64-bit Windows] are very dramatic," Gates said.

In his WinHEC keynote, Gates also outlined new partner initiatives around the next-gen Windows, code-named Longhorn. Though Longhorn isn't expected to be generally available until the end of 2006, Gates said Microsoft is getting a head start in spreading the word of the operating system's radical improvements to partners and customers.

To that end, he unveiled two new partner programs for Longhorn. The first, the Windows Longhorn Ready PC Program, will enable hardware vendors and system builders to label their PCs ready to run the next-gen OS when it becomes available. The other, the Windows Longhorn Logo Program, will allow system builders and hardware OEMs to label PCs according to their specific Longhorn capability. This program "is not put together" just yet, Gates said, but Microsoft hopes to start a dialogue with partners about how to proceed with the program.

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"We're putting more marketing behind Longhorn than we have behind anything in the past," Gates said. "With partners, this is a great opportunity to do more coordination."