It's been a while since I last said it, but: Thanks, Microsoft! I toast Bill Gates' health, and pray for a long and happy life for everyone in the company. The reason is that the great Redmondo has confirmed the existence of a version of Windows for the AMD 64-bit chip architecture. It'll do a Server 2003 and an XP Windows in that flavour, the former for the Opteron and the latter for the Athlon64. It already does 64-bit versions of Windows for the Itanium, although nobody's quite sure why. This will bring some much needed diversity to the market, helping manufacturers and users alike to exercise some choice and let competition in, if only a bit. But that's not the real reason I'm so excited. The truth is -- it'll make testing computers worthwhile again. For ages now, we've run benchmarks not quite out of force of habit, but close. Everything's settled down, and the relationship between price and performance is pretty fixed: the results are interesting, but only mildly. All that will change. We'll be able to test PCs running different versions of Windows, and the same version of Windows running on different processors. The graphs will be endless, the technical analyses considerable, the pontifications and column inches expended will be immeasurable. All those skilled honed at great expense in the glory years of PC innovation will come into play, all those 3500 word Personal Computer World reviews of everyone's first 80386 computer I churned out years ago will not have died in vain. I know it's perverse, but it makes me happy.