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Microsoft Corp. is reported to have released a number of its operating systems designed for desktops, workstations and servers that can take advantage of 64-bit x86 processors to manufacturing. The company is projected to officially launch the new products during its WinHEC conference.

The company released to manufacturing its Windows XP Professional x64 as well as x86-64 flavour of Windows Server 2003. Both will be officially unveiled at Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) that will be held in Seattle, Washington, from April 25 to April 27, 2005. Availability of the products is expected to coincide with the announcement.

Microsoft offers WinHEC attendees to learn “about business opportunities with the 64-bit roadmap for Windows Server and Windows Client,” attend “technical sessions outlining new 64-bit architectures and operating systems” and get “hands-on experience with new 64-bit hardware and software.”

Microsoft originally planned to release its operating systems for computers powered by x86 processors with 64-bit capability in late 2003 or early 2004. However, in mid-October 2003 the world’s largest software maker said it would only be in a position to ship the new products only in Q4 2004. April, 2005, release would put the final launch of Microsoft’s x64-64 operating systems into Q2 2005.

Microsoft and its products have historically been a major driving force for technology progress. In the past, the new versions of the company’s operating systems encouraged customers to switch to newer hardware. In case this happens with the OS update that does not exactly bring any tangible benefits for end-users, both Advanced Micro Devices, who pioneered the x86-64 technology back in 2000, and Intel Corp., who recently unveiled a lineup of IA32 64-bit products, may enjoy an uptick in microprocessor sales, which may also catalyze higher demand for hardware from other makers.

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