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I have a copy of Windows in MSDNAA and it says Windows Vista x86. Is this Windows Vista 32 bit, or 64 bit?

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up vote 25 down vote accepted

In current terminology x86 normally indicates 32-bits, with x86-64 or x64 indicating 64-bits.

x86 really refers to an instruction set based on the Intel 8086 (from some time ago - 1973 by Wikipedia's reckoning). Nowadays this normally is taken to simply mean a 32-bit instruction set. Initally it was a set of instructions that operated with only 16-bit, so historically could be referred to as x86-16 or x86-32. But, obviously, x86-16 is no longer relevant as 16-bit processors died out a long time ago.

x86-64 (or just x64) is an extension to the x86 instruction set, providing support for 64-bit registers, memory space and the like. It is fully backwards compatible with the 32-bit x86 instruction set (allowing 32-bit software to be compatabile without modification in most cases) and is taken to simply mean a 64-bit instruction set.

There are vendor-specific names for x86-64 as well - it can be referred to AMD64 or Intel 64 (previous IA-32e and EM64T).

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Thanks for your answer. :) –  JFW Sep 9 '10 at 15:01
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Windows Vista reports x86 for 32bit version and x86-64 for 64bit version.

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it's a 32 Bit version of Windows

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  • You have a 32 bit Version

  • x86 is for 32 bit only. It is sometimes also referred to as x86- 32 .

  • x86- 64 supports 64 bit. They often referred by the term x64

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The last part of your answer doesn't make sense. x86 refers to 32-bit, so you can be sure. –  MDMarra Sep 9 '10 at 11:28
    
I am sorry there was some editing mistake in my answer, hence it seemed to be a wrong answer –  subanki Sep 9 '10 at 12:48
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