64-Bit Mobile Computing – It Takes an Ecosystem

The world of enterprise IT must pay attention any time a true development is made in mobile technology. Internally, the business might consider upgrading devices, while externally, mobile consumers will be affected and the organization’s mobile strategy might need adjustment. 64-bit computing is one of those mobile development worthy of enterprise IT’s attention.

64-bit computing is not a brand new subject, of course. Intel has led the field for more than a decade – the 64-bit was the natural evolution of the 4-bit processor. And more than seven years ago, Intel and Apple collaborated on a 64-bit solution, combining Mac OS and Intel processors.

So while 64-bit computing has been around, the exciting development we’re seeing today is 64-bit computing’s official entrance in the mobile world! And as consumers – and employees – start to purchase devices with 64-bit hardware platforms, their tech needs will change.

A 64-bit hardware platform can’t function alone – it requires a 64-bit operating system, 64-bit apps, and tasks demanding enough to take advantage of 64-bit computing. Learn more about what will need to happen in order for users to get the most out of their 64-bit devices.

- IT Peer Network Administrator

When users buy their new 64-bit tablets, they may want to access all of the new capabilities. But, before that exciting potential can be completely realized, however, an ecosystem must rally around it.

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Fully empowered 64-bit mobile computing is a cooperative solution, and an upgraded device is only the first step. To achieve the full potential of 64-bit functionality, the processor, system designer, operating system, and applications must all work together. In other words, the device must also be supported by a complete ecosystem.

Ecosystem 2.pngBefore new users can take full advantage of the new 64-bit tablet, they would need a 64-bit operating system. Windows 8.1 and iOS 7 are 64-bit operating systems, and Google Android is currently a 32-bit operating system, but work is underway on a 64-bit version.

For example, Intel announced in January 2014 that it had completed work on a 64-bit Android kernel for Intel processors.

In addition to the operating system, users would need more RAM on their devices, which could increase the cost. They would also then need apps that are written for a 64-bit system and properly coded to take advantage of wider registers and more addressable RAM. And those apps need to then be given tasks that are demanding enough to benefit from more memory.

The most likely place to find such apps is in the enterprise. Job-related tasks on users’ tablets might benefit from 64-bit architecture long before their personal tasks do. Enterprises would need to port custom 32-bit applications to the new architecture, but they currently lack the impetus to do so because 32-bit apps are backward-compatible with 64-bit hardware.

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On the other hand, some enterprises have already ported mission-critical applications to 64-bit architecture on laptops and desktops running Windows. These organizations might want to deploy 64-bit mobile devices so they can more easily support 64-bit applications and continue to take advantage of their investment in porting mission-critical software.

But if these organizations were to deploy 64-bit mobile devices based on ARM architecture, they would have to rewrite those applications again. Learn all about 64-bit mobile devices, check out a Map to 64-Bit Computing: Top Facts You Need to Know.

In the comments section or on Twitter, tell us: are you ready for 64-bit devices? If yes, how are you preparing your organization? If not, what’s standing in your way?

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