The announcement about the upcoming release of one of the most popular image editing programs for amateur and professional photographers alike, Lightroom 6, is going to make some photographers, those with older computers and older versions of Microsoft Windows, including the 32bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.X as well as MAC users on OS X Lion (10.7) or older upset, because they won't be able to run the new Lightroom when it's released.
Lightroom 6 will require Mac OS X 10.8 or above, or a 64 bit version of Microsoft Windows 7, 8 or 8.1. As we know, later this year Microsoft will be bringing out Windows 10. When asked about Lightroom 6 running on the upcoming Microsoft Windows 10, an Adobe representative said, “We work closely with Microsoft and Apple during OS prerelease to correct issues we find. We usually announce compatibility details the same day that the new OS is released.” In other words, Adobe will work to ensure Lightroom 6 works in Windows 10 upon its release, if at all possible, as they can't afford to lose their Lightroom for Windows customer base, as those customers take advantage of the free upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8.X to Windows 10, which many industry experts believe will happen rapidly.
Photographers and other Adobe software users should have guessed this requirement was coming. To continue to make major improvements in Lightroom, more computer resources are needed for the program, and 32bit operating systems don't have enough capability for Adobe to continue to support them.
What's also going to be true, though unstated at this time, is that when buying and equipping computers, photographers will have to think beyond the 4GB of RAM which has been the standard and upper limit of 32bit operating system architecture. Photographers will have to think in terms of at least 8GB of RAM for computers which will be used for photo and video editing.
While 8GB of memory is serviceable in computers for programs like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom (64 bit versions) now, to be able to have a smooth and rapid workflow, I recommend 16GB of RAM or more. I have 20GB of RAM in my workstations used for image editing, and 16GB of RAM installed in my laptop. Future computer purchases will include at least 32GB of RAM in each computer, whether workstation or laptop.
For your review, the following is the text of the Adobe announcement,
"Update on OS Support for Next Version of Lightroom
We are hard at work on the next major release of Lightroom, and wanted to share some information on operating system requirements in order to give everyone time to prepare for the release.
In order to leverage the latest operating system features and technologies, Lightroom 6 will require Mac OS X 10.8 or above, or a 64 bit version of Windows 7, 8 or 8.1.
Focusing our work on more modern operating systems and architectures allows us to spend more time adding functionality requested by users, including additional advanced imaging features and improving general application performance.
If you are on Mac OS X 10.7, or a 32 bit version of Windows, you will continue to be able to install and run Lightroom 5 and use Lightroom mobile. However, you will not be able to install Lightroom 6 until you upgrade to a supported operating system.
If you are currently running Mac OS X 10.7, Apple offers a free upgrade (here) to a more current operating system. For Windows users, Microsoft has a how-to reference (here) to help you determine whether you are running a 32 or 64 bit version of Windows."