Office 2010 Client – Should I go with 32 bit or 64 bit?

Posted on 4/22/2010 @ 4:22 AM in #SharePoint by | Feedback | 979 views

As you know, Office 2010 client now comes in both 32 bit and 64 bit versions. The question is, should you go with 32 bit or 64 bit?

64 is bigger than 32 .. so 64 is better no? NO!

Given a choice, or unless you have a very strong reason not to – GO WITH 32 bit.

Why is that? Here is why -

  • 32 bit apps actually work better on 64 bit OS’s in most scenarios due to WoW, and the additional 64 bit VLSW calculations.
  • If you have 2007 installations to support, SharePoint designer 2010 cannot be used to work with SharePoint 2007 sites. So you will have to install SharePoint designer 2007 32bit side by side with SharePoint designer 2010 32 bit side by side. So you cannot mix and match 32 bit and 64 bit here. Of course you can virtualize and not have this problem to begin with :-D.
  • 64 bit office will break many things on your SharePoint experience for that client – example, that fancy datasheet view won’t work on lists. 32 bit office apps don’t have this issue.

There are some extreme situations where you DO want 64 bit client apps though. Specifically if you have HUGE excel sheets to work with, then 64 bit office client excel is much better than the equivalent 32 bit excel.

Sound off but keep it civil:

Older comments..

On 4/22/2010 4:33:41 AM Jan Inge said ..
Thanx :)

On 4/22/2010 5:47:35 AM Kamlesh said ..
Hi Sahil,

Regarding SPD, there is bit difference of opinion at this thread:



On 4/22/2010 10:16:35 AM Josh Einstein said ..
I don't understand your first point. Why would the WoW layer cause a 32 bit application to run *better* on a 64 bit OS? The OS has to compensate for several things in addition to the address translations such as virtualizing access to certain sections of the registry.

I do agree with your points about compatibility though. I have considered going back to making a living developing Outlook addins for companies whose 32 bit addins are now obsolete. But for many people such as myself, 32 bit office is nearing the breaking point due to the memory constraints. But the biggest disappointment to me was that Access databases are still limited to 2GB and Excel can still only hold 1M rows. WTF??

As for the third point about the datasheet ActiveX control not being installed with 64 bit Office, I would consider that a bug! There's absolutely no reason that a 64 bit Office installation should not also install the 32 bit version of that ActiveX control.

On 4/27/2010 2:14:24 PM Fred Morrison said ..
I took your advice and used the 32-bit version of the official RTM edition of Office 2010 Premium Plus when I built my first SharePoint 2010 Server RTM VM this past weekend. I also installed Office Web Apps. That's when things started to go bad. View in Browser and Edit in Browser (the new stuff) works fine, but the old-fashioned Edit in Word (which goes back to SharePoint 2007 and Office 2007 days) doesn't work. Not even in a different VM that only has SharePoint 2010 Foundation on it. No good clues can be found in the Logs directory of the 14 hive or SQL Server's Logs or the Event Logs. My VM is a "everything on one box" setup, including Domain Controller, so I look forward to finding an answer to this rather perplexing issue.

I have a 25GB 10 minute video I can upload to anywhere that has enough room in case anyone wants to watch the problem rather than try having me explain it in words.

On 4/27/2010 8:08:46 PM Sahil Malik said ..
Fred 25Gigs? Damn! Can you compress it and to me?

10 min video != 25G

On 5/4/2010 1:06:14 PM Fred Morrison said ..
I have the video showing the problem down to 21.3MB, so where can I email it too that won't be rejected as being too large?

On 1/9/2012 5:06:59 AM Rob said ..
Datasheet view in office 2010 64bit now fixed by installing the 2007 office system driver: