According to now defunct LinkedIn account, British branch of Microsoft Research team is working on getting IA-128 to achieve “full binary compatibility on the existing IA-64 instructions in the hardware simulation to work for Windows 8.”
The fact that Windows 8 and Windows 9 kernels are to support the 128-bit CPU architecture speak for itself, but the physical hardware is coming sooner than most people think. It isn’t hard to predict what processors will support 128-bit instruction set – not on the CPUs coming next year, but starting from 2011, we should see 128-bit CPUs coming our way, such as AMD Bulldozer core. The question is in the air for Intel’s Haswell architecture. Haswell is the successor to Sandy Bridge architecture [Nehalem-Westmere / 45nm-32nm, Sandy Bridge-Ivy Bridge / 32nm-22nm], but besides bringing Larrabee set of features into the CPU, not much is known about the part.