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In 2002, a third edition, called Windows XP Media Center Edition was introduced and was updated every year until 2006 to incorporate new digital media, broadcast television and Media Center Extender capabilities. Unlike the Home and Professional edition, it was not available for retail purchase, and was typically either sold through OEM channels, or was pre-installed on computers that were typically marketed as "media center PCs".


2 diverse 64-bit versions were available, one designed specifically for Itanium-based workstations, which was introduced in 2001 around the same time as the Home and Professional edition, but was discontinued a few years later when vendors of Itanium hardware stopped selling workstation-class machines due to low sales. The second one called Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, supports the x86-64 extension of the Intel IA-32 architecture. x86-64 is implemented by AMD as "AMD64", found in AMD's Opteron and Athlon 64 chips, and implemented by Intel as "Intel 64", found in Intel's Pentium 4 and later chips.


Windows XP Tablet PC Edition was created for a class of specially-designed notebook/laptop computers called tablet PCs. It is well-suited with a pen-sensitive screen, supporting handwritten notes and portrait-oriented screens.


So I've been trying to upgrade my computer to a 64 bit OS, so I can start loading more than 4Gb of RAM onto the mobo for some of my more intensive HDR / data processing work.


My first thought was "okay, maybe I'll bite the bullet and try Vista". That lasted all of one day, when I found that the high end QuadroFX card I had bought for CAD has NO support under Vista64. It's supported under Vista32 just fine, and it's lower end versions is supported under Vista64, but *that* particular card with SLi is not supported past Vista 64 RC1 (beta).


My next thought was trying to find a copy of WinXP 64 bit Edition. Turned out to be harder than pulling teeth. I'm not about to pay $200+ for an OS that's one generation old (their pricing scheme never made sense to me - not to mention that from a matter of principle I have trouble supporting a company whose business practice of cramming an OS that some of their own developers refuse to run down their customer's throat is by discontinuing an older OS). So one of my co-workers whose wife is on the MSFT OS team offered to loan me a copy of his disc, since they don't have the need for it and like everyone else at my company, are waiting on Windows 7 instead of jumping onto the Vista bandwagon.


I've been trying to figure out why I can't boot from this stupid disc and install the OS for the past week. Turns out, there's 2 versions of Windows XP 64. And they are both named... Windows XP 64 bit edition. The 2001 version of it contains code for the Intel Itanium IA-64 architecture, and the 2003 edition contains code for the AMD X86-64 and the Itanium-2 architecture. And guess which disc my coworkers gave me and which processors I have in my box?




I am so benchmarking Solidworks on a MacBook Pro. And seriously consider a Mac for my next machine.