Microsoft drops 64-bit OneDrive into the pool: Windows on ARM fans need not apply. As usual

Up to 18.4 million petabytes... which should be useful to someone

Microsoft has released a 64-bit preview of its OneDrive sync client for Windows, citing "large files" and "a lot of files" as a driver for the update.

The update has been among user wishes for a while, with a 2016 whinge topping the charts ahead of arguably more useful feature requests such as syncing over a local LAN or (whisper it) a Linux client.

"Make Onedrive 64 bit! Simple as that! 32 bit Onedrive process on 64 bit OS in 2016 is simply unacceptable!" was the request and, five years later, someone deep within the dark heart of Redmond set the necessary compiler switches, tweaked the code just so... and here we are.

Microsoft has been a little vague about the benefits of the update, pointing to those large and plentiful files as justification. "Also, 64-bit applications can access more memory than 32-bit applications (up to 18.4 million petabytes)," the company added.

We know some of Microsoft's software can be a little, er, leaky at times. But if you need 18.4 million petabytes to sync your pre-lockdown holiday snaps with Microsoft's cloud, we'd argue you have other problems on your hands.

Sadly, while the Windows client has been given the 64-bit treatment, the same largesse has not been extended to the brave souls enduring the Windows on ARM experience. Still, Omar Shahine, vice president of product for Microsoft OneDrive, told the faithful "before you ask we are working on ARM" but neglected to give a date for when ARM fans could join the 64-bit party.

The update is Microsoft's latest step into a 64-bit world and, while the company is not short of legacy 32-bit apps, the direction of travel is clear. Certainly, the extra resources available to a 64-bit app are handy, even if the immediate benefits vary widely depending on what the app is doing. 64-bit Visual Studio, anyone? ®

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