Is windows XP 64-bit still available to purchase? I want the 64-bit version so I can use 8 GB of RAM.
locked by Iain♦ Aug 24 '12 at 6:27
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closed as off topic by Iain♦ Aug 24 '12 at 6:27
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Yes, sort of. You can run XP Professional by buying Vista Business or Vista Ultimate and exercising your downgrade rights (you have to find an original XP installation medium then call Microsoft to obtain a product key.)
You might be able to find Windows XP Home (OEM version, which you cannot legally install on a pre-existing computer) if one of the shops in your area still carries it, but that's a pot shot.
However, you cannot use 8 GB of RAM with a 32-bit operating system (except on Windows Server 2003 through the cumbersome PAE mechanism, through which any one app can use up to 4 GB of RAM if it supports the special AWE API.) Actually, you will only be able to use about 3.5 GB. You need a 64-bit operating system for more than that.
Edit: You updated the question to mention 64-bit. Like Michael Stum pointed out, 64-bit XP is a nightmare to maintain due to very poor driver support. There's only the Professional family, there never was a 64-bit XP Home. However 64-bit XP is subject to the exact same life cycle policy as the 32-bit client operating system (see Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2 life cycle on the Lifecycle Information for Windows Client Products site for details). In other words, it is no longer available through retail channels, and though I've heard rumors of OEM versions I've never actually seen one offered on sale, only bundled with systems through big OEMs.
According to Microsoft's downgrade rights chart (Warning: Link to a Microsoft Word document!) says you can downgrade to 64-bit XP if you find an original installation medium somewhere:
Further edit: Funny how the world works. Just came across (via reddit) this very interesting page regarding 32-bit and >4GB in Microsoft operating systems: Licensed Memory in Windows Vista
Just a thought, the other posters have mentioned the perils of 64-bit XP, particularly from the drivers standpoint -- if you're just looking for XP rather than a server OS, why not download and install the Windows 7 RC? It will be good until June 2010, though nagging will start in March. It's likely pretty close to what the final release will look like, and there's a virtualized XP compatability mode. Obviously, it's still beta software, so YMMV as they say, but it's already a clear improvement over Vista with respect to drivers and UAC in particular, and again it should be pretty close to what the final Win 7 release looks like later this year.
The 32-bit version can not access more than 4GB of RAM. The 64-bit version has a 128GB limit.
Vista 32-bit has the same limitations. Except 64-bit Home editions have a lower maximum (16GB and 8GB respectively for Premium and Basic)
See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778.aspx for all the different limits.
The 64-bit version of Windows XP is still listed as for sale on sites such as NewEgg.com, Amazon, there's always eBay and other sources. So yes it's still available for sale and the downgrade rights which both Vista and Windows 7 provide allow you to obtain a license key from Microsoft if you can provide the install media.
You updated your question to say XP 64-Bit. It escapes me why anyone would want this (It's not really WinXP, it's an XP/Win2003 Hybrid with really bad drivers and application support, or as I'd like to call it, it's the Windows ME of 64-Bit Operating Systems), but it still seems to be available, at least in Germany and other European countries I still see the SystemBuilder Version normally available with no sign of End-Of-Life.