At my company we’ve been working with 64-bit versions of Windows for a while now, but mainly in a server environment. There have been a few issues that need attention compared to running 32-bit versions of Windows but all-in-all, thanks to .NET it’s been an easy transition. Once we moved to Windows 7 on our workstations, we went 64-bit but this was mainly to make it easier to setup SharePoint 2010 development environments.
So, it was interesting to come across the statistic that about half of Windows 7 machines are running the 64-bit version. In the article Microsoft seem to claim that it’s actually advancements in hardware that have led this migration from 32-bit but with Windows 7 they have worked very hard to make running the 64-bit version almost transparent and a lot of peripheral manufacturers are now offering 64-bit drivers. This makes working with Windows 7 64-bit very easy, not something I could say of working with the 64-bit version of XP.
Windows Phone 7
It’s interesting to read about the progress Microsoft has made on their new mobile phone platform, Windows Phone 7. Development hit an important milestone recently and Microsoft are reportedly giving all their employees a Windows Phone.
It’s great to see that Microsoft are really putting serious effort into their development and they’re getting considerable beta testing done. It’s certainly not evident that such effort was put into previous Windows Phone releases. Really, though, is anyone that interested in Windows Phone 7? The big three of iPhone, Android and Blackberry have so much market share that I just can’t see Microsoft making much of a dent, especially as they’re taking so long to get the product to market.
Windows Azure Private Cloud
Windows Azure LogoMicrosoft have recently announced that they will be making their Windows Azure cloud platform available to corporations who want to use this technology but don’t want to run their applications on Microsoft’s hardware. Digging into the details, it turns out that if you want to run Azure on your own hardware, you’re going to need to make a pretty significant investment in hardware and access to the software will only be available via an OEM. This isn’t something that you can just download.
In a similar vein, Rackspace open sourced their cloud software stack. This coupled with the availability of software modelled on Amazon’s cloud platform released with the latest version of Ubuntu Server means that if you like the idea of running your applications on a cloud platform with all the scalability and maintenance benefits that that entails but don’t like the idea of storing your data on someone else’s hardware along with everyone else’s applications, your options have increased. On the subject of Azure, I came across a nice comparison of Azure to other cloud offerings.
Google Wave No Longer Being Developed
Google WaveSad news from the Google camp, Google is no longer going to be developing their Wave product any more. Oh well, it seemed like such a good idea at the time and there was so much hype surrounding its initial release. I did have a look at Google Wave when it was released and I felt that it was a solution looking for a problem, really. I know there are problems around the use of email that Wave was trying to solve but email is so entrenched that you’d have to create something really revolutionary to replace it and Wave just didn’t provide that killer feature set that would draw people in.
Microsoft Aggressively Pursuing the Tablet PC MarketTablet PC
Ah the ‘Tablet PC Market’. That’s been doing well over the last few years, hasn’t it? Well, no. It was a great idea let down by overpriced hardware and terrible software. Now of course Apple have rejuvenated the market with the iPad, except they haven’t. The iPad isn’t a Tablet PC, which is why it’s doing so well. Anyway, according to Steve Ballmer, Microsoft are putting a lot of effort behind tablet computing. I can’t wait. Supposedly, Windows 7 ‘slates’ will be available this year. Oh well, a slate, that’s not a tablet PC, oh no, I’m sure they’ll hit the right price point and the software will be well suited to the platform. I can’t wait, let me just hold my breath…