Windows 7, 32-bit or 64-bit operating systems?

I was just wondering what a lot of business environments are going with in windows 7?
32 bit or 64 bit?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I would say it depends on their apps.  If they have 16 bit apps, they definitely aren't moving to 64 bit operating systems since there is no support for 16 bit apps in 64 bit operating systems.  Other than that, responsible IT departments are testing win7 and x64 to verify that their apps work.  If they do, there's little point it staying with 32 bit operating systems (in my opinion).
I agree with leew.  To take it a step further, Microsoft has stated that after Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2, there will be no more 32 bit operating systems.  Subject to change, but it's really only a matter of time.

Dale HarrisProfessional Services EngineerCommented:
I work for a fairly large company, (over 500,000 employees :) ) and we are still 32 bit.  We've been testing x64 on our servers for about a year and haven't pushed out any 64 bit laptops.  Like leew said, it's all to do with compatibility.  32 bit is "easier" to make work with everything as that's the standard IMO.  If you have some specialized programs to run that need more than 4Gbs of RAM or that need to run at their most efficient, then 64 is the way to go.  Like he said, it's all dependent on your company and their programs they "need" for business.

You could always go with a hybrid environment if you're a little unsure of where to go.  We are hybrid in terms of servers, just not for laptops.


Dale Harris

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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Unless I'm mistaken, 16-bit is not supported on even 32-bit Windows 7.  You'd have to look at an emulator or XP Mode to run 16-bit apps.  At work, we have rolled out all 32-bit, as our not-even-two-year-old workstations won't even support more than 4GB of RAM ... and to reduce any complications with our apps.  Outside of my work, I've deployed nearly all 64-bit, in a variety of environments, with a variety of software, with "almost" no problems.
Ryan McCauleyEnterprise Analytics ManagerCommented:
16-bit emulation IS supported on Windows 7 x86, but not on x64. The reason is that 16-bit emulation , when run from x64, is actually emulated twice (x64 -> WoW32 -> 16-bit), and that caused some issues.

I don't have the official Microsoft KB article handy, but here's some forum discussion about 16-bit emulation in Windows 7:

As for our environment, people who need high-memory workstation (there aren't many of us) are using Windows 7 x64, and the rest of the company is using Windows XP, though we're ordering new computers with Windows 7 on them, so that means it's slowly being replaced out in the offices. It will take a few years, since we're not actively replacing XP, but there are no issues that I'm aware of with running both environments side-by-side (except for the resentment that I get from those who still have XP...)
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
16 bit IS supported on 32 bit Windows 7.

And to clarify - 2008 was the last 32 bit Server OS - 2008 R2 is 64 bit only.
sccomputersAuthor Commented:
Thank You for all the answers.  I went with 64 bit on some high end machines that need more than 4 GB of RAM and will test from here on out with Windwos 7 and see what is best for us.
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