Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What was the reason for naming the 32-bit Program Files on a 64-bit system as "Program Files (x86)" and giving 64-bit applications the regular "Program Files"?

One would think that doing the opposite (ie, having a "Program Files (x64)") would perhaps make more sense.

share|improve this question

closed as not constructive by Nifle, BinaryMisfit Oct 13 '10 at 20:53

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

XP? Vista? 7? . – studiohack Oct 13 '10 at 20:38
7 is what I'm on but I'm under the impression the dual Program Files folders are present on other 64-bit versions of Windows as well. – Seth Oct 13 '10 at 20:42
@Seth indeed they are – BloodPhilia Oct 13 '10 at 20:46
@BloodPhilia Thought so, hence I didn't tag any specific version of Windows. – Seth Oct 13 '10 at 20:48
This is NOT a discussion forum. This question was asked in the past and closed because there is no official technical document that can be provided to support any answer. Therefore it will remain close. Furthermore, Super User is not for discussions like this, it is a Q&A platform. Please treat it as such and all users should read and understand the FAQ, and also check regularly for when policy changes are made. – BinaryMisfit Oct 14 '10 at 9:48

Because 64-bit is standard on a 64-bit system and it's supposed to run 64-bit programs whereas 32-bit is deviant on such a system and 32-bits is "emulated". Thus the deviant application folder is appended (x86)

share|improve this answer
I get that 32-bit applications are 2nd-class on a 64-bit version. I suppose I'm just not convinced that that outweighs 'moving' the install location of old applications to a location which is different than where they used to be. – Seth Oct 13 '10 at 20:47
Software writers must follow guidelines, if those writing installers don't check up the location in the registry then its their problem. – Tom Wijsman Oct 13 '10 at 21:59

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.