<font size="3">Microsoft teases users with 64-bit XP trial </font>
Microsoft continues to redefine the notion of a software striptease with the 64-bit version of Windows XP, kicking off yet another early access program for the OS.
Rabid 64-bit computing fans can now pick up a trial version of Windows XP 64-bit Edition via CD or download off this Microsoft site. The pre-release software is good for 360 days and gives customers with an AMD64-based PC or laptop a chance to test the OS. The bra has come off, but you'll have to wait to see the pasties hit the floor.
Microsoft promised Windows XP 64-bit Edition for both AMD's Opteron and Athlon64 chips many moons ago. The software, however, has repeatedly been pushed back - surely a sore spot with AMD. Microsoft has been gracious enough to put out a beta version of the OS for developers - tuck your $1 bill in here, please - and has promised an AMD-ready version of Windows Server 2003.
A proles-ready version of Windows XP 64-bit Edition won't actually arrive until the second half of the year, along with a service pack for the 32-bit code. This gives SuSE, Red Hat and even Sun Microsystems with Solaris x86 a few months to lead the Opteron/Athlon64 charge on 64-bit systems, while Microsoft adjusts its undies for the big dance.
Rest of Story: The Register