A few notes:
- Windows XP 64-bit is finally becoming more popular than ever because it supports more RAM, whereas when it was first introduced it was not popular at all, and was not supported.
- Windows Vista 64-bit is becoming more accepted, so software companies are supporting the 64-bit side more than ever.
- Windows 7 will be (I think) the point where 64-bit will truly take off. For a year or two now, 4GB of RAM is just not unheard of. Even 8GB is being used quite often. Microsoft claims that it will run faster and use less RAM, but we'll see.
RAM is so cheap now thanks to Vista being so bloated. The demand has gone up, so RAM prices have finally dropped considerably. This will encourage people to buy more of it in the future, but it will serve no purpose having more than 4GB (both motherboard RAM and GPU RAM) if they don't have a 64-bit OS.
When Windows 7 comes out in 2009 (I bet there will be a delay to 2010), I'm sure it'll be better overall than Vista was on it's first release. Vista was a whole new OS with many components being used from XP (e.g. Notepad, Paint, etc.). They're taking Vista and tweaking it once again into what they call a new OS - Windows 7. Visually, it will look the same as Vista so that they don't tarnish Vista's reputation any more than it already has been with something prettier. IE8 will probably be integrated into Windows 7 as well. Microsoft tried with Vista, but didn't do so well. They learned from their mistakes. I think Vista was an experiment to see how far it would go, and what needs to be changed. Sure, they tried hard to make it great, but I'm sure they knew people wouldn't like it. Windows 7 will be better, but never perfect. The first launch of it, and it will be a trial period until it has a service pack or two put on it. 2009 seems a bit soon in my opinion for a release date. If it wasn't for Vista, they'd be working on it for 7-8 years instead of just 3. By around 2014/2015, SP2 will probably be out for it, and that's when everyone should get rid of their XP 32-bit OS and jump on the 64-bit bandwagon. Why? Because when 2014 comes, Microsoft will no longer be supporting XP with critical updates at all. Accept it or not, but Windows 7 is the future. And that's why Microsoft needs to get it right.