That release was in the same league as the Win32 subsystem on Windows 3.11: Total crap, with near to none support from applications or drivers.
It's sister-release Windows Server 2003 x64 edition was a little better (read: less worst) as there was actual hardware-driver support from the larger (server) vendors, but generic consumer-stuff was, as to be expected, a total disaster.
Well I had no difficulty getting drivers for all my hardware, but I accept I may have been lucky and that in general x64 drivers were few and far between back then. The OS itself though was for me absolutely rock solid, and as I understand it, it was Server 2003 x64 under the hood, but with the server applications stripped out and XP media-ish apps put in.@vlastimil
I'm not sure about that specific issue you mention, though the link you posted (and the linked msdn blog post) does sound reasonably scary. In general the move to 64bit has vastly improved the various resource limits available to applications (see these blog posts
), so if anything going by that measurement, 64bit is more compatible than 32bit Windows.
I fully accept that things like 16bit applications or 32bit shell extensions might not work, but these days I firmly believe that the ordinary user should default to 64bit and only consider 32bit in exceptional circumstances. As anecdotal evidence, when purchasing laptops over the last year I noticed it's nearly, if not actually, impossible to buy a €400+ machine that doesn't come without 64bit pre-installed.