a 64-bit computer should be backwards compatible. For example, my laptop has a 'Program Files' folder for 64-bit programs, but if I install something that is 32-bit, it will save it in 'Program Files (x86)'. It does happen through that with a few programs I get a message that says I'm not running a 32-bit OS, the installation will stop.
You can use the laptop just like any other for surfing, emailing, MS applications, etc, however, I do suggest that if there are other applications that you specifically want to run, make sure ahead of time that there aren't any compatibility issues. For example, ZoneAlarm will not run on a 64-bit OS, I had to use COMODO.
To avoid any problems all together, just go with a 32-bit. In my opinion 64-bit is going to be the future, but it'll probably still take a long time for everything to adapt to use its fullest potential.
My parents are in the market for a new laptop. They were actually at Circuit City, paying for a new Toshiba Laptop when the salesperson asked them if they were aware that the computer was a 64 bit processor with a 64 bit OS (Vista Home Premium). I had been helping them select the computer, but it had never occurred to me that the manufacturers would now be shipping computers with a 64 bit OS standard.
My question is: what are the ramifications of buying a computer with a 64 OS in October of 2008? I have heard that not all Adobe Products are 64 bit compatible. This makes me wonder about other softwares such as Intuit Quicken, Microsoft Office, Firefox... are there 64 bit versions of these softwares or is the issue of 64 bit more related to hardware drivers?
There doesn't seem to be any talking about the issue anywhere that I can find on the internet. It would be no big deal if just the processor was 64 bit, and the OS was 32bit, because the OS could later be updated 64 when compatibility was at its peak.
What will most likely happen if someone buys a 64 Bit OS computer for general websurfing, emailing, MS Office Applications and some light Audio and Video editing?
I look foward to your responses.