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Recently a customer of mine who makes a living testing patient’s hearing and troubleshooting issues with their hearing aides bought a new laptop to take out on call. The laptop he bought was an HP Pavilion TV5, a powerful system with a very reasonable price. Last night I stopped at his office to configure his diagnostic software and devices on the new laptop, and ran into a major issue that was anything but surprising.
The Pavilion TV5 comes with Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition preinstalled. Niche industries such as my client’s are often years behind in operating system and platform support, and 64-bit architecture is no exception. None of my client’s hardware or software were supported by his new system. So what’s a geek to do?
HP will not provide or support a 32-bit operating system for this laptop. Microsoft will not allow us to exchange the operating system for the 32-bit equivalent. Best Buy will exchange the laptop but the only replacements they offer running Vista 32-bit are, for lack of a better word, crap.
Did manufacturers jump the gun with the switch to 64-bit?
Update: Apparently this post caused some controversy both here on my blog as well as on my submission over on DZone. In an effort to keep the discussion going, I replied to some reader comments in a separate entry, called Going 64-Bit, Revisited.