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What kind of executable files can run on Windows XP through Windows 7? I know of PE, but I don't know if there are any others.

I'm also interested in knowing different kinds of interpretive executables, like a Java program and such.

I'd also like to know what extensions they use, like PE uses .exe and .dll.

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

There is an "incomplete list" of executable extensions available on wikipedia.

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In addition to PE you mentioned, there's also formats used in DOS: MZ and COM. Support for the DOS formats are obviously being phased out, but emulators like DOSBOX attempt to continue support.

As for Java, developers usually supply applications in a JAR format, which is simply a zip file containing all the bytecode and other application resources.

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