Wednesday, November 6, 2013

No 16-bit Code Can Run

Raymond Chen:

When you try to run a 16-bit program, the application compatibility layer looks at the program and says, “Gosh, I wonder if I recognize this program.” And maybe the answer is, “Yes, it is InstallShield version 5.0, and I have been taught very specific information about the data files that are used by that version of InstallSheield to the point that I know how to install them without actually invoking InstallShield itself.” In that case, instead of playing a sad sound, the kernel hands the request to the application compatibility engine with the instructions, “You take care of this.”

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Wow. Talk about going to extreme lengths to maintain legacy compatibility!

Also a reason there's so much cruft on the Windows side, and why the baseline that the majority of software vendors still count on is Windows XP.

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