Note: This article was originally written on reich-consulting.net. Reich Web Consulting has narrowed its focus to the web and no longer offers tech support services, so we’ve moved all of our tech support content off-site. We hope you find this article useful. It is provided as-is, and we will no longer provide support on this topic.

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.

Reich Web Consulting

Written by

Purveyor of fine web creations. Former tech support geniuses. Occasional spouter of opinions on topics of politics and ethics.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade