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I was using 64-bit IE and Silverlight would not work. This is ridiculous! What is the explanation for this?

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what kind of symptoms are you seeing? any particular error messages? "would not work" isn't very descriptive; specifics might allow us to give you an explanation. – quack quixote Apr 16 '10 at 5:42
@quack It specifically tells me that Silverlight does not support 64-bits – Josh Stodola Apr 16 '10 at 18:14
interesting. i hadn't realized 64-bit browsing was that far behind the desktop. i really should install a 64-bit OS one of these days. :) – quack quixote Apr 16 '10 at 19:05
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Flash doesn't work in 64-bit either. I think we have to resign ourselves to a 32-bit browser world for quite a while...

So why haven't Mozilla and Google bothered to release official 64-bit browsers? For the same reason Microsoft hasn't bothered to produce a 64-bit version of its Silverlight plugin: nobody uses 64-bit browsers.

That might sound like a vicious circle, and it is; if you are using a 64-bit browser, you need to use 64-bit versions of all your plugins, and plugin makers aren't particularly eager to make 64-bit versions until 64-bit browsers start being used with some frequency. There are three key plugins that need to offer 64-bit versions before mainstream users can switch. In order of least important to most important, these are: Silverlight, Java, and Flash.

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From that article: "64-bit browsers are more secure... at least for now." They'll catch up to 32-bit insecurity when the plugin makers start supporting 64-bit :-\ – Hugh Allen Apr 16 '10 at 7:43
@Hugh: Exactly, I only run 32bit IE when I have no other option. But the 64bit version works fine for a few admin sites which are locked to IE without using flash/silverlight. – Richard Apr 16 '10 at 9:33
Thanks Jeff. I've been using 64-bit IE as my primary browser for three years. I have always had to fall back to Firefox/Chrome/32-bit IE for YouTube and now Netflix. I don't see what the big holdup is. To me, this presents a clear opportunity for Microsoft to gain an edge Flash by supporting 64-bits! – Josh Stodola Apr 16 '10 at 18:17

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