What's your point?

By: Dean Kent (dkent.delete@this.realworldtech.com), May 14, 2007 7:20 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
JasonB (no@spam.com) on 5/14/07 wrote:
---------------------------
>
>(Note that whenever something is expensive for the manufacturers, it's generally
>the end users that actually pay for it.)

Of course it is - but it still remains that in a competitive environment, passing costs on to the customer is not desireable. Therefore, anything that can reduce costs is considered necessary.

>
>In our case I don't actually have any urgent plans to make the software itself
>64 bits. 4GB is actually enough for our software, at least for a while. (By
>the time you get to over 2GB of data in our case the performance is the limiting
>factor, not the available memory.) The problem is that we can't get close to 2GB
>on a normal 32 bit Windows PC. The maximum possible project size available to the
>user is constrained by the software's ability to access memory, whereas running
>the same 32 bit software on a 64 bit OS the user is constrained by their own patience.

While it may not result in development costs, it is likely that it results in support costs. Customers will complain about performance, and even if the answer is to upgrade - it still costs support time and effort.

>
>Now that we can advise customers to upgrade to a 64 bit PC, we can start simplifying
>code and increasing the performance by using more memory-intensive algorithms. It
>means that future versions will actually run out of memory earlier on a 32
>bit platform, but they will run much better on a 64 bit platform and the code will be less buggy to boot.
>
>The only problem is customers who aren't allowed to upgrade. (We've got a US govt
>customer who wasn't allowed to install XP x64 on his new top-of-the-range Dell workstation
>because his IT dept didn't want to support a "mixed environment".) Hopefully with
>Vista being surreptitiously shipped in 64 bit versions from the beginning (like
>my new notebook) that will be less of a problem than it was under XP.

And this is part of the point I have made over and over - there is no such thing as a free lunch. No matter how good it is, it creates costs for someone to deal with. That doesn't mean you don't do it, but to sweep it all under the rug and say it doesn't exist is... *marketing*.

Nonetheless, the original point was (and is) that the average user does not need it, and therefore has little incentive to move to it. As you indicated, even those who *do* need it may resist.

I am still waiting for a convincing argument that in 3-4 years the percentage of those using a 64-bit system will be so high that 32-bit systems will be a very significant minority (say, 30% or less of installed systems).

Based upon your own experience, how 'current' are most of your customers machines? In my own office, at least half of the staff still use PIII based systems, and 99% of the rest use P4's.

Regards,
Dean
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                                x864 =) (NT)some12007/05/15 03:03 AM
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