A Rant on Windows XP x64.

I can’t remember how many times I’ve discussed “upgrading to Windows 7” on the blog, but I do remember that I did that a lot (however I most likely will upgrade to 7 fairly soon). This post isn’t about that, but rather it’s about the operating system I use now: Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. When I tell people that I use it, they freak. “Why the hell are you using that? It’s not compatible with almost any software or hardware! Hell, Windows ME is more compatible!” They tell me, rather they almost demand me to upgrade to either Vista, 7 or even back to 32-bit XP. I’m going to be bold here and say this: Don’t tell me how the hell to run my system. If I wanted to (though, I doubt it would work) run Windows ME on an i7 980X system with 24GB of RAM, I can very well do that. If I want to use a Commodore 64 as my primary computer, I very well can do that. If I want to run an OS that gives me several benefits: Can use more than 4GB (most likely less) without kernel hacks, and has a familiar environment I very much like. I very well can.

And then there’s that “compatibility” thing they speak of. Let’s see.. Of all the systems I’ve run XP x64 on, I’ve only had one device not work, a KWorld TV tuner (that has since bitten the bucket). And you know the funny thing? It doesn’t work on Vista/7 x64 either. It might work on Linux x64, but I haven’t tried. The thing is: if you have somewhat modern hardware made by a decent company (which I would assume x64 users would want anyway), I see no reason why XP x64 shouldn’t work.

I’ve very rarely had software compatibility issues with XP x64. One of the times was a 16-bit (DOS & Win16 apps aren’t supported on x64 Windows) installer for a mid-90’s 32-bit video game, all I did was install the game in a 9x based Virtual machine and copied the files over. The game worked fine after that. Another time was when setup thought XP x64 was Server 2003 (which it is. They are both NT version 5.2.3790) and would not install. Most likely because the developer had an “enterprise class” version of the software for Server 2003. And there are times where you can just use compatibility mode. Nearly all the apps I used in XP 32-bit work in XP 64-bit (Microsoft Security Essentials, aside. Probably because Forfront works on Windows 2000/Server 2003/XP x64 and because it costs money).

All in all, XP x64 compatibility is not as bad as people say it is.


4 Responses to “A Rant on Windows XP x64.”

  1. Don_HH2K Says:

    My XP x64 compatibility issues were with my Palm, my scanner, and an old webcam my dad had. My Vista/7 x64 compatibility issues were… well, with my Palm, my scanner, and an old webcam my dad had. Switching to x64 did end up making me think a bit more to get things working – the scanner had to be virtualized under Windows NT and I ended up buying a serial (driverless) cradle for the Palm – but switching to Vista or Seven wouldn’t have helped with any of that.

  2. linuxlove Says:

    “If I wanted to (though, I doubt it would work) run Windows ME on an i7 980X system with 24GB of RAM, I can very well do that.”

    Be quiet you, I don’t think you want Sparky4 trying to say how wonderful Windows ME is.

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