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While few users see any reason to buy Microsoft's 64-bit Windows today, the release of 64-bit SQL Sever next year promises to bolster low-cost 64-bit computing.
The company released its first major 64-bit operating system, Windows Advanced Server Limited Edition, last year to work with Intel's Itanium processors. Bob O'Brien, Microsoft group product manager for the Windows .net Server division admitted the release is only being used by a few high-end users.
Now the company is working to make its 64-bit operating system a bigger player in its portfolio as Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) make progress towards developing low-cost 64-bit processors.
Early next year Microsoft will introduce the 64-bit Windows .net Server 2003 Datacenter Edition. Its strategy for increasing the profile of its 64-bit operating system is to provide core 64-bit applications, such as a 64-bit version of its SQL Server database software.
Microsoft released the first beta version of SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition 64-bit in July, when Intel launched its Itanium 2 chip, and is expected to ship a final version in tandem with the release of Windows .net Server 2003 Datacenter Edition.