Will Windows 8 require a Supercomputer to run?

We all knew that Windows was getting bloated. Vista was solid proof. However Microsoft’s next generation operating system after Windows 7 could be worse.

How do we know this? Well, we don’t really. What we do know is that a Microsoft employee wrote on his Linkin account the following:

Working in high security department for research and development involving strategic planning for medium and longterm projects. Research & Development projects including 128bit architecture compatibility with the Windows 8 kernel and Windows 9 project plan. Forming relationships with major partners: Intel, AMD, HP and IBM.

PCPro saw this and published an article on it, and it hit Slashdot.

So what does it really mean? Well, it’s quite possible that Robert Morgan isn’t going to get a bonus this year. Other than that, nothing really. It’s probable that a lot of companies are running research projects into 128 bit computing. Heck, if they aren’t doing this, their R&D folks should be fired (look what happened to Intel when they didn’t take 64 bit computing seriously).

But it’s really unlikely that we’ll see anything soon. For 128 bit computing to work, you’d need 128 bit chips. None of the chip makers have taped out 128 bit chips yet (though it’s probable that they’ve run experimental batches). Without 128 bit chips, Windows 8 can’t be 128 bit.

Oh, it’s quite possible that Microsoft has tried to block Linux and the BSDs from 128 bit computing, by signing contracts with AMD and Intel. However they wouldn’t be to block Apple out (Apple supports FreeBSD). And even if they did try to block out Linux and the BSDs, we’d have at least a years warning before a 128 bit chip could hit the streets, which would be more than enough for the Free and Open Source software communities to roll 128 bit operating systems and software, and would also, unless Windows 8 could run 64 bit and 32 bit programs, kill Microsoft’s Independent Software Providers.

Straight out, I don’t see Windows 8 being 128 bit. The chips don’t exist. Even if they did exist, 64 bit computing is still beyond what most of us are using. I could see supercomputers needing it. Maybe.

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3 thoughts on “Will Windows 8 require a Supercomputer to run?

  1. And Microsoft wouldn't like them, they aren't x86…Thanks for the link, I hadn't known about that. I've been a member of SAE, but never of IEEE.

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