The question of why we need 64-bit computing is often asked but rarely answered in a satisfactory manner. There are good reasons for the confusion surrounding the question, the first of which is the rarely acknowledged fact that “the 64-bit question” is actually two questions:
How does the existing 64-bit server and workstation market use 64-bit computing?
What use does the consumer market have for 64-bit computing?
People who ask the 64-bit question are usually asking for the answer to question 1 in order to deduce the answer to question 2. This being the case, let’s first look at question 1 before tackling question 2.