Office 14 to have 64-bit option

Office 14 to have 64-bit option

The next release of Microsoft Office - version 14 - will be made available in a native 64-bit edition, according to a beta tester.

Anyone who has made the move to a 64-bit operating system will know of the lack of true 64-bit applications to match – but should take heart in the fact that the next version of Office is likely to come in a 64-bit native edition.

According to the guys over at Neowin, beta tester Ed Bott has done some snooping in the Office 14 closed beta code and found references to both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office applications.

Within the migwiz.xml file, Bott found that each application within the Office suite were listed twice: once as the standard product name, and once again with a “_x64” suffix. This appears to indicate that fully native 64-bit builds of Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher, Visio, and Word exist – and should be shipped as an option when Office 14 goes live.

While there's little to benefit an office suite from the switch to 64-bit – unless you're working on some really big Access databases – the move comes as the majority of PC users make the transition to 64-bit hardware. With both Intel and AMD having shipped 64-bit processors as standard for several generations, software has been slow to catch up to the capabilities. So long as 32-bit applications are the norm, there is no reason to run a 64-bit operating system – despite Windows XP and Windows Vista both being available in 64-bit editions at no extra cost. If Office 14 ships as a 64-bit native package, it will encourage more OEMs to ship a 64-bit Windows build – and encourage more software developers to take advantage of the increased memory space on offer and start developing their own 64-bit applications too.

So far there has been no official word from Microsoft on whether Office 14 will be available – like Windows – in separate 64-bit and 32-bit releases, but the clues Bott unearthed in the XML file certainly seem to pint to a dual-format launch.

Would 64-bit Office tempt you into upgrading your version of Windows, or can't you see a need for a 64-bit OS yet? Share your thoughts over in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
proxess 25th March 2009, 10:24 Quote
I'm still using 32bit but I guess 64bit is the future (for now), and I really should switch. Maybe at the next Ubuntu release. 64 bit native office seems pretty cool idea.
Burnout21 25th March 2009, 10:25 Quote
Its is really necessary for office to become 64-bit, well maybe excel and pubilsher, but word thats hardly going to need more than 3GB of ram! lol!

its like 64-bit paint! ROFL!!!
janesy B 25th March 2009, 10:41 Quote
there's more to 64-bit than just "MOAR RAM!!11!1".
SnowCat 25th March 2009, 10:43 Quote
Hey, how about increasing maximum number of rows in Excel? It was 65K for as long as I can remember
tank_rider 25th March 2009, 11:00 Quote
SnowCat, the 65K rows problem was sorted in 2007, you can now have alot more than that although i can't remember how many atm.
wuyanxu 25th March 2009, 11:05 Quote
1 septillion lines of text in word!

this is fantastic, i want everything to be in 64bit!
SnowCat 25th March 2009, 11:05 Quote
tank_rider, thanks! :)
My mistake :)
wuyanxu 25th March 2009, 11:06 Quote
there are 1048576 rows in Excel 2007 (not sure, the one with ribbon too bars)
steveo_mcg 25th March 2009, 11:16 Quote
Originally Posted by Burnout21
Its is really necessary for office to become 64-bit, well maybe excel and pubilsher, but word thats hardly going to need more than 3GB of ram! lol!

its like 64-bit paint! ROFL!!!

Wouldn't hurt Access either, we have a product for which the back end is stored in three access dbs as it is too big for one. There are a myriad reasons not least becuase not all our clients have access to the web and the ones that do wouldn't necessarily trust any one with their data over the internet (oil industry is slightly paranoid).
nicae 25th March 2009, 11:17 Quote
Rows weren't the problem. The problem was actually the amount of columns, being increased from the limited 255.

I currently run XP32, and it's more than enough for now. But I do have Ubuntu64 in VMWare, so I'll be prepared for a smooth transition. (From Win to Ubuntu, and not from Office12 to Office14!)
Yemerich 25th March 2009, 11:31 Quote
All i know is that i hate vista 64!
phuzz 25th March 2009, 11:55 Quote
euch! Access is horrid, just use a proper DB instead.
(yep, I have to look after an old and cruft Access db at work).

I'd happily move everything over to x64, except half the applications we use aren't available on x64, hell, they only became Vista compatible 6 moths ago.
timmythemonkey 25th March 2009, 12:06 Quote
...but the clues Bott unearthed in the XML file certainly seem to pint to a dual-format launch.

10am and they're already thinking about the pub!

I'm still not sure about 64bit, its a great idea, just often poorly executed. Give it a few more years and hopefully widespread support/better backwards compatibility will iron these out.
Gareth Halfacree 25th March 2009, 12:09 Quote
Originally Posted by timmythemonkey
10am and they're already thinking about the pub!
No such luck - that was written at about half-nine last night, and I'm in the day job at the moment with no pub privileges. :(
War-Rasta 25th March 2009, 13:26 Quote
I'm still running on 32bit (Ubuntu and XP on VMWare) 'cause of my CPU not being 64bit but I should make the transition in a few months when I get my new laptop and I'll definitely be trying out both Ubuntu and Vista 64. I don't know why it's taken so long for the software industry to make the move. If I remember correctly, it didn't take this long to make the jump from 16 to 32 bit.
Nikumba 25th March 2009, 13:26 Quote
I seem to remember the beta of Office 2007 had a 64bit flavor but never appeared on teh market
Sebbo 25th March 2009, 14:33 Quote
why is there this giant misconception that 32-bit programs won't run correctly in x64? on XPx64 and Vista x64 they're basically run in their 32-bit instruction codes thanks to microsoft's Windows on Windows emulation. I've been using 64-bit for almost 3 years now, and the only time there has ever been a problem is when hardware manufacturers are too lazy to do the extra work for the drivers. Not a single problem with any game or other piece of software (sans the annoying "This application has only been tested under 32-bit" when starting up still runs fine).

I hope this pushes OEMs towards providing 64-bit OSs, as the state at the moment is really disappointing (though that may only be here in Australia?). Was looking at laptops a couple of months ago, and not a single OEM would provide a 64-bit OS (Linux or Windows) with a machine, even if it did have more than 3GB of RAM. F'king ripoff, especially when some of the high-end Dell laptops can have 6 or 8GB of RAM!
dyzophoria 25th March 2009, 15:56 Quote
why write it in 64bit? because why wont they?, it will just atleast push everything to 64bit in the future, I think it wouldnt hurt anyone if there is a 64bit version.

64-bit is not all about accessing more memory though
Saivert 29th March 2009, 00:42 Quote
People bitch and whine over the 32 vs 64 question all the time without realizing that eventually everything will be 64 bit.
I would want to see a move over to the new platform sooner rather than later. Easier to just focus on one platform than having to constantly make two versions of every god damn software on earth. And also deal with ignorant developers and publishing houses who just sees 64 bit as "unnecessary, costly and time consuming". If you just dropped 32 bit dead today, there would be no added cost nor would it be more time consuming. Microsoft should have made Windows 7 a 64 bit only operating system. Of course people would have bitched, but then after a year everything would be golden again. Also who the hell runs 4Gig on their system today and still uses 32 bit OS? Madness.
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