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Windows comes to AMD Opteron

But when?

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Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff tells us that Microsoft informed developers to expect x86-64 support with the first Service Pack for Windows .NET server.

Redmond confirmed on Wednesday (9 April) that it should have Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 beta releases running natively on AMD's 64-bit chips in "the middle of 2003". But when will finished product hit the streets?

Haff says there are good reasons for caution from Microsoft:

"I know what my priorities would be if I was the Product Manager for Windows, and late in the cycle, in came a request to jam in support for a new processor architecture," he told us. "I'd have the guy hauled off in a straitjacket."

Service Pack timing, if consistent with other releases, would mean that AMD wouldn't be able to run Microsoft's server products for quite a while. Perhaps as early as next year. But then maybe there'll be an extra special Service Pack.

(When Windows 2000 was launched, Microsoft posted a security patch update before the shiny gold disks had reached customers' hands).

Mary Jo Foley is sees betas for both desktop and server arriving by mid-year.

AMD's Opteron launches this month. At least Linux will be ready. ®

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