Intel Corporation and Microsoft Corporation jointly announced Tuesday that the 64-bit Windows operating system is booting and running on prototype IA-64 systems based on the Merced microprocessor. This first successful milestone on the path to the 64-bit version of Windows 2000, due in mid-2000 with the release of Merced, is a success for both Intel and Microsoft.

"We are very pleased with the outstanding progress Microsoft has made on the development of their 64-bit Windows operating system for Intel's Merced processor," said Albert Yu, senior vice president and general manger of Intel's Microprocessor Products Group. "Having 64-bit Windows running on our first IA-64 processor, Merced, will provide a solid foundation for e-business applications when the Merced processor moves into production next year."

"The amazing results delivered by Intel's Merced design team along with our 64-bit Windows operating system will provide enterprise customers with the capabilities they need for scalable, high performance business computing solutions in an increasingly Internet-based world," said Microsoft senior vice president Jim Allchin. "Microsoft and Intel will continue to work together with the industry to ensure the combination of Microsoft's 64-bit Windows and Intel's IA-64 processor family meet the demanding needs of our customers and partners when Merced based systems become commercially available later next year."

The 64-bit version of Windows 2000 will retain backwards compatibility with existing members of the Windows 2000 family while taking full advantage of the 64-bit IA-64 architecture. Applications written for Windows 2000 can easily be recompiled to run more optimally under 64-bit Windows 2000 because of the common source code shared by both platforms