Windows Server 2008 R2 (see http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/r2.aspx) is going to be the first version of Microsoft's server operating system that will run on 64-bit processors only. It is unclear if applications based on the Gupta Team Developer environment support this new platform, because they are available only for 32-bit.
This may not be a problem for such applications because they follow the fat client concept. But there are three areas where this announcement will introduce changes in the market place:
- Software programs are oftentimes installed and deployed using Microsoft Windows Terminal Services or Citrix. Windows Server 2008 R2 might be usable with 32-bit based Gupta applications. If that works, they run in a 32bit emulator and this might cause problems or incompatabilities.
- Many applications developed with Gupta include server-based components such as backup services, central driven interfaces and the like. The same applies for such components: they may work but they also may not work correctly. 32-bit applications are only emulated to be 64-bit using "Windows-on-Windows 64" emulator (WOW64) and this might be unreliable for some applications.
- Especially independent software vendors (ISV) are usually forced to stay compatible with the latest releases of operating systems and new hardware components. Customers want modern and state-of-the-art applications. It will be hard to argue the missing support for 64-bit and thus native compatability to Windows Server 2008 R2.
My impression is that the 64-bit world has finally arrived on the Windows platform. Up to now it was like a niche, rarely used and not widely spread. Windows Server 2008 R2 is just the first real step in this direction and it will put high pressure on existing legacy applications.