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Shouldn't We Be Past Separate 32 & 64 Bit Versions of Apps By Now?

    General discussion

  • Okay, so I could understand having two media players and two IE versions in Vista x64.  Plugins weren't compatible, codecs weren't compatible, it was a mess.  By the time Windows 7 came out, things had settled down mostly, and even now Adobe is finally getting things together and releasing a 64-bit Flash.


    By the time we get Windows 8, can't we be done with the separate WMP32 and WMP64 and IE32 and IE64?  I mean, it really is just a mess, especially for users who aren't quite sure what they're doing.  Example:  You can install 32 bit codecs in Windows 7, and play everything correct in Windows Media Player, but since Windows Media Center is fully 64 bit, nothing will play.  If you're not a technically-inclined user like most of us here are, you're not going to have any idea what's going on.  And even if you are technically-inclined, the process of picking which WMP is the default player when you double-click on something in Explorer is too messy.

     

    And I mean, between Metro IE not having plugins (which I still think is a bad idea) and desktop IE having them, do you really want to make it even more confusing for users by having IE32 and IE64?

     

    At this point, we need to move past having both a 32 and 64 bit version installed wherever possible.  Sure, have a 32-bit version of IE for the 32-bit Windows, but we don't need to have both in Windows x64 anymore.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 4:45 PM

All replies

  • Ha, I guess I'm alone in this. :P
    • Edited by JHoff80 Thursday, September 15, 2011 7:06 PM
    Thursday, September 15, 2011 7:05 PM
  • Technically, the x86 and x64 binaries are not compatible, because they have different sizes of pointers. So if there is no mediator or a proprietal calling "standard", they could not be loaded in the same process. That's why the mess.
    Thursday, September 15, 2011 7:14 PM
  • Yeah, I know they're not compatible, but is there some reason that we even need the 32-bit version anymore on Windows x64?
    Thursday, September 15, 2011 7:20 PM
  • Yes, because of the add-ins, plug-ins etc. which are mostly available only in 32-bit version. Also 32-bit programs which uses the IE rendering engine or user control can work only with the 32-bit version of IE.

    • Edited by MCCZ Thursday, September 15, 2011 7:30 PM
    Thursday, September 15, 2011 7:28 PM
  • On Thu, 15 Sep 2011 19:20:19 +0000, JHoff80 wrote:

    Yeah, I know they're not compatible, but is there some reason that?we even need the 32-bit version anymore on Windows x64?

    Certainly. There are lots of organizations out there who run LOB
    applications through the browser that only work with the 32-bit version of
    IE. That's just one example.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Your fault -- core dumped.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 7:28 PM
  • That explains it for IE (though as I said, all the plugins I use have 64-bit versions by now).  I guess it makes sense that for enterprise uses that the plugins might take longer to migrate to 64-bit, but then I'm surprised that they'd be running 64-bit Windows (or even Windows 8 until a few years down the line) in the first place.  But it does sound like a valid reason that I hadn't known about.

     

    But it causes even more of a mess in Media Player, and there isn't a single codec you can't use in 64-bit WMP anymore, so at the very least I think getting rid of WMP32 on Windows x64 should really be considered.   Maybe there's an explanation for that too, I don't know.

     

    At the very least, they could put both versions separately into the "Add or remove Windows features" section of Programs and Features, so the user can choose to get rid of one or the other if they so choose to.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 7:41 PM
  • I guess that Microsoft has a very good reason why they include both versions. Be sure that they will gladly strip one of the version if there is no reason for not to do so.
    Thursday, September 15, 2011 7:56 PM
  • If it wasn't for the 32 bit support, I would be able to run W8 on this old thinkpad :)
    Thursday, September 15, 2011 11:15 PM
  • After reading your question, I haven another question.

    Why is it possible for a 64-bit Windows to run a 32-bit application?

    What protocol or what algorithm have been use?

    Thanks alot.


    • Edited by happylcs56 Tuesday, November 29, 2011 2:09 AM
    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 2:08 AM
  • After reading your question, I haven another question.
     
    Why is it possible for a 64-bit Windows to run a 32-bit application?
    This backward compatibility is a design feature of the AMD64 CPU architecture. 64-bit Windows takes advantage of this feature.
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 2:38 AM
  • Oh I see.

    This apply to all Windows or it it for WIndows 8 only?

    Anyway, Thanks davewilk

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 3:20 AM
  • Oh I see.
     
    This apply to all Windows or it it for WIndows 8 only?
    This is the case for all x64 versions of Windows (XP, Vista, Win7, Win8, and corresponding server versions).
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 11:00 AM
  • Thanks davewilk :D
    Wednesday, November 30, 2011 2:04 AM