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64-bit Windows question (stupid question)


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#1
diggeryo

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I'm curious as to what the reason is that 32-bit programs can run fine on 64-bit Windows, but 16-bit programs cannot. Is it that Microsoft decided against adding this capability, or is it entirely not possible to have 16-bit programs work even if Microsoft wanted to allow it?

If it's not possible for 16-bit programs to work on 64-bit Windows, why is it then possible for 32-bit programs to work fine?
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#2
dsenette

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i may be completely wrong but, when the switch was made between 16 bit and 32 bit applications there were a few things that were different in the world.

A: there were less applications to begin with
B: people were a lot less in control of application development companies' budgets (i.e. buying power really didn't drive most of the companies' attitudes)
C: computer equipment wasn't quite so developed, which reduced the amount of usable "power" to have the two structures co-exist


in theory, back in the day when everything jumped from 16bit to 32, they COULD have included everything needed for backwards compatibility. it just wasn't something anyone wanted to do, plus people would have had to upgrade hardware too, not just buy a few programs or upgrade a few programs.

when everything started going to 64bit, there would have been too much public outcry if 64 bit systems couldn't run 32 bit apps (especially with as slow as companies have been to release 64bit versions of their software)
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#3
diggeryo

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Interesting! Thanks for your two cents.
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