While 32-bit CPUs are already a rare sight, Microsoft is on its way to kill 32-bit Windows 10 OS, not right now though. For starters, the company has stopped shipping 32-bit builds to OEMs beginning with Windows 10 version 2004, according to a change spotted by Neowin.
Microsoft has updated its Windows 10 system requirements page to reflect the future of 32-bit Windows 10. This means that new PCs will arrive in the market with 64-bit Windows 10.
Microsoft added that the change won’t affect existing users and PCs that were factory-installed with older versions of Windows 10 since it applies to version 2004 (and later). These machines will keep getting feature updates and security fixes.
However, the company will continue to provide 32-bit installation media through non-OEM channels. This hints that users might be able to buy 32-bit Windows 10 retail copies until further announcement.
Nonetheless, this gradual phase-out will only push the old operating system towards its end as more users will say goodbye to it.
Why 32-bit Windows 10 is going away?
As it happens with older technologies, one possible reason could be the decrease in usage of 32-bit Windows 10. With Microsoft’s focus shifting towards cloud technology, investing in ancient software may not be on the company’s priority list.
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One thing I have observed in the last few years is that OEMs are already preferring 64-bit over 32-bit while pre-loading Windows 10 on new PCs. So, it’s not going to be a drastic change anyway for both users and PC makers. It’s just that Microsoft has now made 64-bit compulsory.
That being said, Windows 10 32-bit version has been a viable option for lower-specced machines as it consumes comparatively fewer resources. For instance, it only needs 1GB RAM to run and perform basic operations. Whereas, it’s recommended to have at least 2GB RAM for 64-bit installation.
Surprisingly, a developer was able to run 32-bit Windows 10 using just 192 MB RAM, so that’s another feat it has achieved. However, one major drawback is it can only access 4GB RAM at max. On the other hand, 64-bit Windows 10 Pro can handle a whopping 2TB of RAM.