"The question asked in this thread is if there is a demand for 32 bit version to justify the cost of maintaining it.
The two questions are not the same."
i didn't said it was, but the more you consider this situation, the more you see that is the same, especially now
the info was on a poll made by Texstar years ago, can't remember the name of it but pointed to the fact that 64 bit hardware was becoming a majority
"How many current users will shift from 32 bit system to 64 bit system when it becomes available?"
i already jumped, i know that most will unless there is a specific app that doesn't work in 64 bit and they need it
"How many new users will the distro get as a result of offering a 64 bit system?"
pclinux is popular for being stable, now if you release a stable 64 bit version, i'm sure that a considerable number of users will try the distro, remember that many of the pclinux reviews made recently pointed to the fact that there is no 64 bit official release and this information discourages users from testing it
it is one of those situations where if you don' have it, need it or not, you are not relevant to others
"How many of those with 64 bit will prefer 64 bit version over 32 bit version?"
from the tests made by most users, me included, i haven't seen any comment pointing to people testing it and saying that will go back to 64 bit, for most of us, the system seems to work faster and surely loads faster, in my case is 20 seconds faster than the practically same 32 bit install
"The best we can do with the above questions is speculate at this point."
you are not seeing this objectively, this is sandbox, of course that everything is speculation, you can't point to people here and say that you are wrong
"To discuss the dropping of the current system when there is no provable demand for a new system seem odd to me."
there is a demand, that is why i am writing this from pclinux 64 bit rc1
"My EeePC is about 3 years old and is 32-bit. So most new equipment is 64-bit, but not all."
is it a old celeron model? a shame they sold those cpus on those asus machines, mine is almost that old but has a atom 64 bit capable running pclinux 64 bit very comfortable
"Personally for those things that I do with my system, the 64 bit DOES NOT give me any great benefits and does not bring any new stability to any of my systems."
have you tested pclinux 64 bit rc1 deeply?