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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.

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

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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. –  Diago Oct 14 '10 at 9:48

1 Answer 1

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)

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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
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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

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