Microsoft announced on the Windows Team blog that 46 per cent of Windows 7 installations were of the 64-bit variety.
Windows Team blogger Brandon LeBlanc announced that as of June 46 per cent of Windows 7 systems are 64-bit. This is a spectacular rise from the 11 per cent of Vista systems and the shift of major OEMs shipping 64-bit Windows has played a major roll. The 64-bit version of Windows XP, by comparison, made up less than 1 per cent of the market.
"The reason for the jump in transition to 64-bit PCs can be attributed to a few things. The first is the price of memory has dropped over the last several years making it easier for OEMs to up the amount of memory in the PCs they ship. And most major processors in PCs today are capable of running a 64-bit OS," said LeBlanc.
Microsoft also sited NPD data that showed that 77 per cent of PCs sold at retail in April in the US were based on the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 which gives some indication of the confidence PC manufactures had in moving towards the 64-bit OS.
Like the major contributing factors of the dramatic shift away from the 32-bit editions favoured with Windows Vista is the rising prevalence of 4GB RAM configurations and above. The 64-bit edition of the OS is necessary to fully address even 4GB. Also the drive situation had improved substantially to the point that reasons for running the 32-bit editions had largely vanished.
In the blog post LeBlanc acknowledges the work done by ISV and IHV partners in improving 64-bit compatibility but also pointed out that the "Compatible with Windows 7" logo program required that partners develop 64-bit compatible drivers and applications.