Program Files (x86)

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by daenerys, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. daenerys

    daenerys Member

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    Since recently using Windows 7 on the PC I built for gaming, I've been wondering this... Can anyone explain why Windows 7 makes two separateProgram Files folders, one for 64 bit apps and one for x86 apps? Why would I give a crap to have them separate, when Windows 7 runs them both anyway? I don't get the need for this extra complication of making people check for apps in 2 places?? You'd never see the Mac doing something like this, just saying.
     
  2. draalin

    draalin The Boss Staff Member

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    Well you do have both 32bit and 64bit versions of Internet Explorer and some other applications from what I have seen.

    I guess some people want to load a specific version? Or just organize their applications better.
     
  3. daenerys

    daenerys Member

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    Why would you ever want to load a 32 bit version of an app when you have a 64 bit one already though? Why would anyone want to be aware of this? These are the kinds of things I like about Apple, they take things you don't want to know about and do it behind the scenes, like their approach to SSD/Hard drives, for example.
     
  4. draalin

    draalin The Boss Staff Member

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    I have had issues, not with web browsers but running other applications where 64bit was unstable so I was forced to run 32bit.
     
  5. EdenSB

    EdenSB Member

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    In addition to draalin's comment about 64-bit applications being unstable occasionally, there apparently used to be (and may still be) plugins for Internet Explorer which could only run on x86 version (such as Flash) and drivers which would only work under x86 version. I'm not sure why they separated them though, instead of just using 'Program Files' and if there were two versions, installing as IE-64 and IE-x86.
     
  6. mvpmkpr

    mvpmkpr Member

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    x86 = 32 bit programs, these are where most of your programs will go since they are 32 bit.

    On the other hand, 64 bit programs are 64 bit, and not many programs support this, since 32 bit operating systems are much more common.

    Basically, it is used to seperate the types of programs.
     
  7. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Member

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    I use both folders quite often with Photoshop. There are some plugins, particularly older ones, that won't work with the 64 bit version of Photoshop, so I need to install them separately in the 32 bit version. I don't see how else Windows would easily handle being able to install both 64 bit and 32 bit versions of apps without keeping them in separate folders.
     
  8. daenerys

    daenerys Member

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    Ok, I can definitely see how it's handy for Photoshop if you need to use it like your said. I just thought this didn't seem like a very elegant solution for Windows, like on OSX I believe they have 32 and 64 bit versions, maybe not now, but they did at one point, but it's not something you really have to ever worry about. There was one reason at first to launch Safari in 32bit mode to make something compatible, but I completely forget why now. Maybe the Flash plugin at first? But that was the only time you ever had to even think about it on OSX. I just like how they handle stuff like that for you.
     

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