The days of choosing between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 10 are numbered. Microsoft has announced that 32-bit versions will no longer be available to OEMs and developers starting with Windows 10 in its last major update in May 2020, also known as Windows 10 2004.
The change is the first step in a long, long road to making Windows 10 a product that’s only available on 64-bit architectures and wants to move beyond the legacy of 32-bit. But the transition will be very slow, and users don’t have to worry.
The arrival of the new Windows 10 May 2020 Update is not only relevant because of the improvements that Microsoft is introducing to the operating system, but also because for the first time the hardware requirements for future devices are changing. From this version onwards the new PCs that the OEMs make available to us will have to use Windows 10 in its 64-bit version. Microsoft will not offer downloads of 32-bit versions, although for the time being it will allow users to continue buying this edition in physical and online stores.
There will also be no problem with upgrades for “old” 32-bit systems: those using these versions of Windows will continue to receive updates, and as Microsoft officials explained, this decision “does not impact customers of 32-bit systems that were made with previous versions of Windows 10.
It is therefore a change for users, but one that prepares us for a future in which Microsoft will focus entirely on a 64-bit Windows 10 with 64-bit applications.
The precedent of a transition to a “only” 64-bit operating system is to be found in iOS 11, which no longer accepts 32-bit applications: with iOS 10.3 Apple warned users opening 32-bit applications that with the arrival of iOS 11 those applications would stop working, something that prompted developers to adapt their applications so that they could be compatible only with that new version.