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Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

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Title: Windows XP Professional x64 Edition  
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Subject: Windows XP, Microsoft Windows, Windows XP editions, Criticism of Windows XP, Timeline of Microsoft Windows
Collection: Windows Xp, X86-64 Operating Systems
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Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Developer Microsoft
OS family Windows NT
Source model Closed source, shared source
Initial release April 25, 2005 (2005-04-25)[1]
Latest release SP2 (5.2.3790.3959) / March 13, 2007 (2007-03-13)
Kernel type Hybrid kernel
Default user interface Graphical user interface
License Proprietary commercial software
Official website /windows-xp-professional-x64-edition-overview/setup/windows-xp/
Support status
Mainstream support ended on April 14, 2009.[2]
Extended support ended on April 8, 2014.[2]

Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition released on April 25, 2005 is an edition of Windows XP for x86-64 personal computers. It is designed to use the expanded 64-bit memory address space provided by the x86-64 architecture.[1]

The primary benefit of moving to 64-bit is the increase in the maximum allocatable random access memory (RAM). Windows XP 32-bit is limited to a total of 4 gigabytes. Although the theoretical memory limit of a 64-bit computer is about 16 exabytes (16 billion gigabytes), Windows XP x64 is limited to 128 GB of physical memory and 16 terabytes of virtual memory.

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition uses the same kernel and code tree as Windows Server 2003[3] and is serviced by the same service pack.[4] However, it includes client features of Windows XP such as System Restore, Windows Messenger, Fast User Switching, Welcome Screen, Security Center and games, which Windows Server 2003 does not have.

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is not to be confused with Windows XP 64-bit Edition, as the latter was designed for Itanium architecture.[5][6] During the initial development phases, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition was named Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems.[7]


  • Advantages 1
  • Software compatibility 2
  • Known limitations 3
  • Service Packs 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7


  • Supports up to 128 GB of RAM.[8]
  • Supports up to two physical CPUs (in separate physical sockets) and up to 64 logical processors (i.e. cores or threads on a single CPU). As such, As of 2014, the OS supports all commercially available multicore CPUs, including Intel Core series, or AMD FX series.
  • Uses the Windows Server 2003 kernel which is newer than 32-bit Windows XP and has improvements to enhance scalability.[9] Windows XP Professional x64 Edition also introduces Kernel Patch Protection (also known as PatchGuard) which can help improve security by helping to eliminate rootkits.[10]
  • Supports GPT-partitioned disks for data volumes (but not bootable volumes) after SP1,[11] which allows using disks greater than 2 TB to be used as a single GPT partition for storing data.
  • Allows faster encoding of audio or video, higher performance video gaming and faster 3D rendering in software optimized for 64-bit hardware.
  • Ships with Internet Information Services (IIS) version 6.0. All other 32-bit editions of Windows XP have IIS v5.1.
  • Ships with Windows Media Player (WMP) version 10.[12] Windows XP Professional shipped with WMP 8, although WMP 11 is available for all editions of Windows XP.
  • Benefits from IPsec features and improvements made in Windows Server 2003.[13]
  • Benefits from Shadow Copy features introduced in Windows Server 2003.[14]
  • Remote Desktop Services supports Unicode keyboard input, client-side time-zone redirection, GDI+ rendering primitives for improved performance, FIPS encryption, fallback printer driver, auto-reconnect and new Group Policy settings.[15]
  • Files and Settings Transfer Wizard supports migrating settings from both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows XP PCs.[16]

Software compatibility

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition uses a technology named Windows-on-Windows 64-bit (WoW64), which permits the execution of 32-bit software. It was first used in Windows XP 64-bit Edition (for Itanium architecture). Later, it was adopted for x64 editions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Since the x86-64 architecture includes hardware-level support for 32-bit instructions, WoW64 simply switches the process between 32- and 64-bit modes. As a result, x86-64 architecture microprocessors suffer no performance loss when executing 32-bit Windows applications. On the Itanium architecture, WoW64 was required to translate 32-bit x86 instructions into their 64-bit Itanium equivalents—which in some cases were implemented in quite different ways—so that the processor could execute them. All 32-bit processes are shown with *32 in the task manager, while 64-bit processes have no extra text present.

Although 32-bit applications can be run transparently, the mixing of the two types of code within the same process is not allowed. A 64-bit program cannot use a 32-bit dynamic-link library (DLL) and similarly a 32-bit program cannot use a 64-bit DLL. This may lead to the need for library developers to provide both 32- and 64-bit binary versions of their libraries. Specifically, 32-bit shell extensions for Windows Explorer fail to work with 64-bit Windows Explorer. Windows XP x64 Edition ships with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Explorer.[17] The 32-bit version can become the default Windows Shell.[18] Windows XP x64 Edition also includes both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Internet Explorer 6, so that user can still use browser extensions or ActiveX controls that are not available in 64-bit versions.

Only 64-bit drivers are supported in Windows XP x64 Edition, but 32-bit codecs are supported as long as the media player that uses them is 32-bit.[19]

Known limitations

There are some common issues that arise with Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

  • Does not include NTVDM or Windows on Windows, so MS-DOS or 16-bit Windows applications cannot run.[20] Some old 32-bit programs use 16-bit installers which do not run; however, replacements for 16-bit installers such as ACME Setup versions 2.6, 3.0, 3.01, 3.1 and InstallShield 5.x are hardcoded into WoW64 to mitigate this issue.[19]
  • Windows Command Prompt does not load in full-screen.
  • No native support for Type 1 fonts.
  • Does not contain a Web Extender Client component for Web Folders (WebDAV).[21]
  • Spell checking is not available in Outlook Express.[22]
  • IEEE 1394 (FireWire) audio is not supported.[23]

Service Packs

The RTM version of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is based on Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 codebase.[3] Because Windows XP Professional x64 Edition comes from a different codebase than 32-bit Windows XP, its service packs are also developed separately.[24] For the same reason, Service Pack 2 for Windows XP x64 Edition, released on March 13, 2007, is not the same as Service Pack 2 for 32-bit versions of Windows XP.[24] In fact, due to the earlier release date of the 32-bit version, many of the key features introduced by Service Pack 2 for 32-bit (x86) editions of Windows XP were already present in the RTM version of its x64 counterpart.[3] Service Pack 2 is the last released service pack for Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.


  1. ^ a b "Microsoft Raises the Speed Limit with the Availability of 64-Bit Editions of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional" (Press release).  
  2. ^ a b "Microsoft Product Lifecycle: Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition". Support.  
  3. ^ a b c "A description of the x64-based versions of Windows Server 2003 and of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition (Revision 3.8)". Support.  
  4. ^ Oiaga, Marius (14 December 2007). "64-Bit Windows XP Service Pack 3? Don't think so... at least for now".  
  5. ^ "Microsoft Releases Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Version 2003 to Manufacturing". News Center ( 
  6. ^ Evers, Joris (January 4, 2005). "Microsoft nixes Windows XP for Itanium".  
  7. ^ "Microsoft Announces Beta Version of Windows XP 64-Bit Edition For 64-Bit Extended Systems". News Center.  
  8. ^ "Processor and memory capabilities of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and of the x64-based versions of Windows Server 2003". Support.  
  9. ^ "Windows Server 2003 Kernel Scaling Improvements".  
  10. ^ "The Benefits of x64 Technology".  
  11. ^ "Windows XP Disk Support: Windows and GPT FAQ". Dev Center – Hardware.  
  12. ^ "Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition".  
  13. ^ "Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition".  
  14. ^ "General FAQs About 64-bit Windows".  
  15. ^ "Remote Desktop for Windows XP Professional x64 Edition".  
  16. ^ "Files and Settings Transfer Wizard for Windows XP Professional x64 Edition".  
  17. ^ "Some Windows Explorer extensions and some Control Panel items are not displayed on computers that are running an x64-based version of Windows". Support.  
  18. ^ Paddock, Brandon (May 22, 2005). "How to run the 32-bit Explorer shell on Windows x64". Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b "Release Notes for Windows XP Contained in the Relnotes.htm File". Support. Microsoft. January 9, 2006. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  20. ^ "64-bit versions of Windows do not support 16-bit components, 16-bit processes, or 16-bit applications". Support.  
  21. ^ "You cannot connect to a Web folder from a Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP x64 computer". Support.  
  22. ^ "Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition".  
  23. ^ "Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition".  
  24. ^ a b "Windows Server 2003 & Windows XP x64 Service Pack Technical Overview".  

Further reading

  1. "Benefits of Microsoft Windows x64 Editions". Microsoft Corporation. February 8, 2006. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  2. Da Costa, Andre (April 25, 2006). "Microsoft Windows XP x64 Edition: Year in Review". Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  3. "List of updates in Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (Revision 15.2)". Microsoft Support. Microsoft Corporation. February 27, 2009. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 

External links

  • Official website
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