Are the days of 16 and 32 bit applications numbered?

What is this all about?

Intel has hinted that they may soon be changing the internal architecture of their new CPU ranges to 64 bit only. What does all this mean? Without getting too deeply in the technical weeds, the bigger question possibly is, should you care?

The 32 bit versions of Microsoft Windows are already behind us, with Windows 11 only coming in 64 bit flavours now. Intel’s 32 bit processors were first released over 40 years ago, so it does make sense to say goodbye. The performance and energy penalties of supporting such old technologies are enough of a reason alone.

And you have been a diligent business owner, and you have always kept all your software systems up to date haven’t you? If everything you use is already in the cloud you are likely fairly safe already.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

But what about that bespoke system you designed from the ground up, and invested good money in making sure it was Y2K compliant so many years ago, that will be OK, right? Or that little program that helps you aggregate annual reports, the one you only use for one or two days a year? As the adage goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but are invisible warning lights blinking madly from deep inside?

You might be quite surprised(or not) how common it is for mature businesses to have legacy systems deeply ingrained into their daily workflows. Sometimes it comes in the form of a dusty old computer which resides in a cupboard somewhere, running a severely outdated version of Windows XP. Or it could be something which appears to work fine on the freshly updated Windows 10 machine.

The Verdict

The first bright side is this. If it currently works on a recently released system, you should be OK for now and have no need to panic. Advances in virtualisation technology should ensure the programs still function at an acceptable level.

The other bright side is, ProInteg’s veteran developers have many decades of expertise updating these legacy systems to integrate with the tools of tomorrow. Speak to us to discuss your upgrading options today.