NO sooner had Microsoft released its 64-bit operating systems than other vendors announced their plans for the new environments.
Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect, announced the general availability of the new 64-bit editions of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in Seattle on April 25.
The following day Symantec said it would add support for the 64-bit systems to its AntiVirus Corporate Edition 10.0 suite, while Citrix Systems announced it is working with a number of industry partners to ensure compatibility with the platforms.
According to Symantec, Anti-Virus Corporate Edition 10.0 provides real-time automatic defence and response against spyware, viruses and worms for desktop and network servers in both 32- and 64-bit environments.
This also includes scalable centralised management and response capabilities designed to maximise uptime and minimise cost, the company claims.
Current Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition customers with valid maintenance agreements are entitled to upgrade at no incremental cost.
Meanwhile, Citrix says it is collaborating with both software and hardware vendors, including Microsoft, Intel, AMD, IBM, HP, Dell and Unisys, to drive adoption of the Windows x64 platform, especially in terminal services.
The company says it has worked with Microsoft for more than 16 years to build access solutions based on Windows, adding 64-bit computing will increase the performance of and maximise investments in current IT systems.
According to Microsoft, Gates believes 64-bit computing will ignite the most promising era yet of industry-wide innovation over the next decade as it enables increased security, greater reliability and faster performance.
Microsoft says the 64-bit architecture in the new versions of Windows helps block some of the destructive worms and exploits of recent years, while yielding dramatic improvement with processor-
intensive applications, such as video editing and gaming, and managing growing stockpiles of data stored on PCs.
The company claims the next version of Windows, codenamed Longhorn, will feature even more of the power of 64-bit computing.