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Palm and Windows 64-bit – a solution

by | Aug 8, 2009 | Tech Tips for Small Business | 0 comments

Several of my clients have recently bought new computers with 64-bit versions of Windows. They may not have even realized they were doing so!

64-bit versions of Windows have speed advantages over the 32-bit versions. While the difference between 64-bit and 32-bit Windows is beyond the cope of this post, there’s lot of info out there. If you’re interested, visit this link.

While most programs can run fine on either 32-bit or 64-bit Windows, drivers for your hardware have to be written specifically for each OS. The driver is a small piece of software that tells your computer how to “talk” to the hardware. Every piece of hardware, whether external, like your printer, or internal, like the wifi card inside your laptop, needs a driver. So, if you have an old printer, for example, and you purchase a 64-bit version of Windows, you may find that the printer manufacturer does not provide a driver for 64-bit Windows.

If you own an older piece of hardware you may accept that you need to have it replaced. But what if you have a brand new Palm device? How frustrating would it be to discover your brand new Palm Pre or Treo can’t talk to your brand new Dell Inspiron? That’s the situation several of my clients have found themselves in lately.

For some unknown reason, Palm has decided that, for now at least, it will not make 64-bit drivers available for its devices. I don’t understand their logic. Eventually everything will be 64-bit, so why not start writing drivers sooner rather than later and make your customers happy?

To be clear, if you have 64-bit Windows, you will be able to install Palm Desktop software on your computer. What you won’t be able to do is connect your device with the USB cable and have the computer detect it and start syncing.

The solution is to install a USB Blue Tooth adaptor on your computer (assuming it doesn’t have Blue Tooth built in as many laptops do). They cost about $50 and install quickly and easily. Then your Palm and your computer can happily talk to each other wirelessly via Blue Tooth, with no driver required. (Make sure the Blue Tooth device you purchase supports Windows 64-bit, of course!)