At Tech Ed 2005 in Orlando several Microsoft presenters said that 64-bit was the future. One went so far as to say that he would only recommend buying 64-bit machines from here on out and that in a 1 and ½ you would not be able to buy 32-bit machine. At the time, it still seemed strange or bold, take your pick.
Later at the IT Forum in Barcelona Microsoft announced that the next version of Exchange would be 64-bit only.
As part of its commitment to 64-bit computing, Microsoft has been delivering products that are optimized for 64-bit, including the newly released SQL Server(TM) 2005, Visual Studio(R) 2005 and Virtual Server 2005 R2. To help customers take full advantage of the power of 64-bit computing, products including Microsoft(R) Exchange Server “12”, Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, Windows Server(TM) “Longhorn” Small Business Server, and Microsoft’s infrastructure solution for midsize businesses, code-named “Centro”, will be exclusively 64-bit and optimized for x64 hardware. In a future update release to Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Server “Longhorn” operating system, code-named Windows Server “Longhorn” R2, customers will see the complete transition to 64-bit-only hardware, while still benefiting from 32-bit and 64-bit application compatibility. For the highest-scale application and database workloads, Windows Server on 64-bit Itanium-based systems will continue to be the premier choice for customers for years to come. (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2005/nov05/11-15ITForum05UmbrellaPR.mspx).
Yes, you read it correctly; even Small Business Server will be 64-bit only! That is serious stuff, that means * (http://msmvps.com/blogs/clustering/archive/2005/12/23/79709.aspx) will be 64-bit soon.
So, should you go out a buy 64-bit machines now? Will your current systems run on them? Yes, yes, and YES! http://blogs.technet.com/exchange/archive/2005/11/18/414796.aspx.
Then Microsoft releases the Exchange 12 Beta 1 and does this – http://hellomate.typepad.com/exchange/2005/12/exchange_12_bet.html – they have a 32 & 64 bit version! DOH! Now, my head hurts!