In a move to tempt long-standing users, Microsoft is to offer a 32-bit version of Windows 10

Windows 10

Gabriel Aul, the head of the Windows Insider Program has taken to Twitter to announce that Microsoft will be offering a 32-bit version of Windows 10, citing a large number of users who continue to operate 32-bit machines.

The main strength of the Windows operating system is the enormous user-base, billions of people work from over a billion Windows machines on a daily basis. In this fascinatingly complex sprawl of hardware and software combinations, there is still a significant number of users living and working on 32-bit versions of the operating system. As of December 2014, nearly 71,000,000 machines are still running 32-bit versions of Windows, although 92.8% of Windows machines, with a BIOS age of under 1 year, now sold are 64-bit.

It is likely that the number of users far exceeds this number, as this is only represents those who receive patches. As such, it is estimated that hundreds of millions of users still work from 32-bit machines.

This situation creates something of a dilemma for Microsoft. While the latest versions of their Windows operating system are intended to drive the future of software and hardware development onwards, they cannot afford to alienate such a large part of their user base, both from a financial point of view and when considering the PR impact. Especially as it has been revealed in the past that many business users still prefer to run Windows 7 (or earlier) rather than upgrade, this is an example of Microsoft learning to draw fewer lines in the sand over important developments.

Microsoft is still committed to 32-bit support, at least for the moment.

Are you still running a 32-bit version of Windows? Let us know in the comments below.

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