Last week Microsoft released a 64-bit version of Windows and Apple unleashed a Tiger.
That's the latest in a line of updates to the Mac operating system to go by a feline name. First we had Cheetah, then Puma, followed by Jaguar, and now Tiger, which Apple claims takes full advantage of 64-bit processing power.
Microsoft has rather unimaginatively called their offering WindowsXP64. They are obviously from the "it does what it says on the box" school of marketing.
Now this may come as a bit of a surprise to you (if not 32 extra bits of surprise), but if you bought your PC in the last couple of years, then only half of its circuits are working!
Effectively, your PC has been going at half speed since you bought it. Remember the time you screamed at it "hurry up, you jumped up typewriter" in frustration - well it was only half trying.
We have been stuck in 32-bit land for over ten years now, thanks to a lack of compatible software. The first 64-bit chips were brought out in the mid-1990s but it has taken till now to bring them into the mainstream.
AMD were the first to release a PC compatible processor platform with 64 bit support in 2003, then Intel eventually followed suit. But while both have had their 64-bit products in the market for a couple of years now, there was no 64-bit Microsoft OS to run on them.
Now, at last, receptionists around the world can finally get to see how great 64 bit solitaire really is.
Joking apart, the applications that will soak up this extra grunt power will be those that have intensive data to process. Image manipulation packages such as PhotoShop, once rewritten for 64 bit, will get almost a 50 per cent increase in speed.
Other big performance improvements will come from applications that need to address a lot of data at once, such as database programs and search applications.
Notably Tiger has an improved search feature that allows you to intelligently find documents and files from within the enormous compost heap most people's hard drives become.
Microsoft is claiming similar features will be in its new operating system, codenamed Longhorn, which will probably be called Windows something-or-other, when it is released.
This is Microsoft's replacement to Windows XP and will revolutionise the way we think about computing, apparently. It is largely vapourware at the moment, which means it works better in Power Point than in reality.
Microsoft says Longhorn will be in the shops for Christmas 2006 and that WindowsXP64 and its server equivalent called ( you guessed it) 'Windows2003 Server64' are merely " transitional releases", on the way to Longhorn.
* Chris is managing director of an internet consultancy. Articles can be found at www.webxpress.com.
He can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org