64-bit computing has arrived to the mainstream desktop (and even laptops). Can you even buy a 32-bit Windows PC anymore? I mean from a store (not a garage sale)?
At work, I've just been issued a shiny new Windows box with the 64-bit edition of Microsoft Vista installed on it. My mission: to determine whether I can use this thing to do my job. In my job, I write a lot of code (not as much as I'd like), I answer a lot of e-mail (more than I want to), and I run a lot of SAS (which I like just fine).
To be clear, I do not expect a 64-bit OS to enhance my ability to send e-mail. So I haven't tried that yet.
The first applications that I installed were SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1, SAS Enterprise Guide 4.2, and the 64-bit version of SAS 9.2 for Windows. (I need both versions of SAS Enterprise Guide because I support customers for each. The two versions can coexist peacefully.)
How did it go, you ask? I think it went great.
SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1 relies on Microsoft .NET 1.1 with SP1, which I installed "by hand" rather than let the SAS system requirements wizard try it for me. I am a trained professional and I like to stack the deck towards success. The installer complained a little bit to tell me that there might be some incompatibilites with .NET 1.1 and 64-bit Vista. Knowing SAS Enterprise Guide like I do, I don't believe that there is a big risk there. Those incompatibilities are an issue more for web applications running under Microsoft's web server, so that doesn't affect our desktop client application.
SAS Enterprise Guide 4.2 and SAS 9.2 for Windows x64 installed with no problems -- as expected, because we at SAS advertise this as a supported configuration.
SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1 and 4.2 will run on the 64-bit platform but as a 32-bit application. It relies on the WOW64, or 32-bit subsystem. That's okay, because SAS Enterprise Guide is a client application that relies on SAS to do the heavy lifting with crunching numbers and accessing data. SAS 9.2 for Windows x64 runs as a native 64-bit application, which means that it can take advantage of the larger address space and other 64-bit goodness.
With no further tweaking from me, I now have SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1 talking to my local 64-bit SAS 9.2 (refer to this entry to see expected limitations) . And I have SAS Enterprise Guide 4.2 talking to my local 64-bit SAS 9.2.
I don't think that we advertise official support for SAS Enterprise Guide 4.1 on 64-bit Vista. It's a configuration that has come along in the time since we originally tested and released the software. I offer this anecdote to prove that it can work.