The last four years have been great for application compatibility, Windows XP finally merged the home user with the power/business user. We now have the best of both worlds, the power and stability of Windows NT and all the support of 9x.
However the world is set to split once more this time not between home and business, but between old and new. Windows XP x64 Edition is just weeks away from completion. With it a whole new split emerges between those running in 32-bit and those in 64-bit. Sure you can simply run most of your 32-bit applications on x64 Edition, but you'll have customers nagging for applications compiled natively for 64-bit, and who should blame them? Why bother having a 64-bit OS when everything running on it is 32-bit?
Already we see masses of 64-bit chips in the PC market, in a years time is any company still going to be selling machines with 32-bit chips? If yes, then only a small margin of computer sales.
Microsoft - scrap plans for a 32-bit version of Longhorn, show your commitment to 64-bit. We need to get over this hurdle as fast as possible, we can't go on for years messing around between 32-bit and 64-bit.
Make the Longhorn wave 64-bit at its core.