I have been reading quite a bit about how Windows 7 handles 32-bit versus 64-bit applications (including details of system32 and wow64), and am surprised by the amount of contradictory information available.
- Do 32-bit applications see the registry any differently than 64-bit applications?
- Does the directory (folder) in which an application is stored make any difference to Windows 7 regarding how the application behaves or sees the registry or file system? Or are the 'Program Files' and 'Program Files (x86)' directories strictly for organizational aesthetics, and not for function?
- Does Windows 7 simply determine if an application is 32-bit or 64-bit at runtime, or does anything else determine how an application is interpreted? Does the directory in which an application is located affect speed or accuracy of this determination in any way?
Best response will answer all three parts of this question, but all answers are welcome.