Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Office 2010 – 64 bit edition?

Interesting article on TechNet about the two versions of Office 2010…

http://blogs.technet.com/office2010/archive/2010/02/23/understanding-64-bit-office.aspx

I greeted the news that there was going to be a 64-bit edition of Office with a moderate amount of interest, mainly because this might be useful to deploy on our planned 64-bit XenApp farm.  This article does mention though that for most users, Microsoft actually recommend installing the 32-bit version, even if you use 64-bit Windows, the reason being “compatibility with existing 32-bit controls, add-ins, and VBA”. 

That sounds mighty ominous to me.  I think I will take their advice and just keep a 64-bit copy handy in case some user (there’s always one) wants a million row spreadsheet or something.

Apart from compatibility issues, the versions are described as being “largely indistinguishable, except that 64-bit Office has a much higher memory capacity”, meaning 64-bit can have more documents open and still maintain a decent speed. 

The setup process even guides you away from 64-bit Office.  Running Setup.exe will install 32-bit version (unless you already have 64-bit Office installed) – to install a fresh 64-bit copy of Office, run \x64\Setup.exe.

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