Media Center Windows not AMD64 native

32-bit support only

AMD announced earlier this week that Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 runs on its AMD64-based processors, such as the Athlon XP.

That prompted more than a few AMD fanboys to leapt on the statement as a sign that the Microsoft operating system supports AMD64 technology.

Sorry, guys, but it doesn't. MCE 2004 is a 32-bit OS that runs (very happily, we're sure) in the Athlon 64's backward compatibility mode - a point AMD confirmed when we asked it.

So, you're not going to get an AMD64-native version of Windows before 64-bit Windows XP ships early next year.

It's a nice bit of spinning on AMD's part, associating AMD64 with the updated multimedia-friendly OS, but spin is all it is:

"AMD64 technology drives improved digital entertainment experiences all the way from Hollywood to the living room, and coupled with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 provides multi-media, multi-format, anytime entertainment options for users on their home PCs," said Rich Heye, VP and general manager of AMD's Microprocessor Business Unit.

All true, but not quite the same thing as saying MCE 2004 utilises AMD64 technology - ie. it uses what used to be known as the x84-64 instruction set. Saying it does would be like claiming old MMX-era games support SSE 2 just because they'll run on a 3.2GHz Pentium 4. In fact, MCE 2004 runs on the good ole 32-bit x86 ISA. ®

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