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Microsoft Developing a 128-bit Windows
This PCPro story says
Is this really a big deal? Are we going to need 128-bit operating systems?
I'm still using 32-bit distros and doing fine, though I know that 64-bit systems have a lot of practical value and are widely used. They handle larger files, more memory, and move more data, which speeds up demanding tasks like 3D video rendering, audio encoding, games, and databases. 64-bit systems can theoretically handle 16 exabytes of RAM and files up to 8 exabytes in size. In real life filesystem and hardware limitations determine what a 64-bit system can handle. Still, it's far more than 32-bit, and far more than most users will ever need.
So what's with this 128-bit future, is it really practical? Is anyone close to being limited by 64-bit? It seems that we expand our needs right along with our computing power, but 128-bit seems like a big leap. One commonly-cited estimate is that all the printed material in the world uses about five exabytes.
Sun Solaris already offers 128-bit computing-- 2 to the 128th power bytes of storage, and 2 to the 64th power for everything else such as file systems, snapshots, directory entries, devices, and more. In comparison, one exabyte is 2 to the 60th power.
This Slashdot comment raises some interesting points:
Of course my first reaction to the news that Windows is going 128-bit is "They couldn't even get 64, 32, or 16-bit right." But snarks aside, it seems this is coming, and as far as I know nobody is working on a 128-bit Linux. Does this really matter? Don't ask me, I'm still on 32-bit :).
Microsoft mulling 128-bit versions of Windows 8, Windows 9