Some of you may have noticed that Microsoft recently released SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.4. There is one major change that I am very happy about – x86, or the 32-bit version, is no longer included. SQL Server 2016 is now 64-bit only. This is what you see in Windows Explorer:
This is one of those changes that has been a long time coming. I first blogged in 2009 about the beta release of Windows Server 2008 R2, and how it was 64-bit only. I’ve talked publicly how SQL Server was really the only major Microsoft server product left shipping a 32-bit version and how the SQL Server dev team needed to stop shipping an x86 version – especially since the last 32-bit Windows Server release was Windows Server 2008. I even entered a formal bug for SQL Server 2014. Now that SQL Server 2016 is officially not supported on that OS, it’s time to kill it – and it has finally happened.
Its removal is actually the result of an offline conversation I had with someone on the SQL Server development team earlier this year (that conversation covered other stuff which has not and probably will never be fixed … grumble). I’ve been lobbying for this to happen for quite some time (since Windows Server 2008 R2, actually). I pleaded my case yet again during that chat, and they said they would see what they could do – no promises. I did not hear anything for about half a year until an e-mail in June saying that 32-bit would officially be dropped, and was told a few weeks ago it would finally be in CTP 2.4. Lo and behold, no x86! I know it was hard work for the dev team to do, and I for one, thank them from the bottom of my heart. It’s been hard sitting on this one for all this time, but I’m glad I can finally talk about it. As the old saying goes, people really do win on MTV.
Another major reason to kill 32-bit would be so that the SQL Server development team could have more test coverage elsewhere, Think about it – for everything they test, it had to be done twice (x86, x64). Now it’s just once.
Does this mean there will be no 32-bit version of SQL Server 2016? They may make some desktop version; I don’t know nor have I been following. But as a Server product? RIP, and good riddance.
So you can thank (or damn) me for this one. Me, I’m going to celebrate. Where’s my bottle of Coca Cola with real sugar?