64bit OS with 32 bit apps?? Maybe?

#1
Maybe too basic a question, but was wondering if this would work ok, or if lots of potential for problems. I recently got a 64bit OS pre-installed on my new laptop (Windows 7). All my apps I already purchased are all 32bit. Any chance they will still work alright? Apps include MS Office 2007, Snag It, and some utility programs.

Thanks very much for any insight.
 


#2
Yep... the 64 bit OS will run 32 bit apps. But it won't run 16 bit... so unless you have something ancient (like the photo retouch I use from win 3.1) you're good to go.
 


#3
Thanks very much.
One further question. Is the only advantage of purchasing 64bit versions of software, when I buy apps in the future, some type of speed in loading or performing certain tasks?
 


#4
Nope. There is in fact very little difference between 32 and 64 bit code. It's not like the old days where there were two separate Modes. Today's 32bit software actually runs right on the 64 bit processor... it just doesn't use 64bit math or addressing. In fact most 64 bit code is dominantly 32bit instructions. To the CPU, it's all the same thing. The only special bit is that 32bit programs have to be run in the lowest 4 gigs of memory.
 


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#5
In cases of incompatibility, you can download the 64-bit versions of your purchased software from the developers' sites.
 


#7
Obviously, running 32 bit programs was heavy on the mind of the Windows 7 developers when they wrote the 64 bit version, because they set aside a special Program Files (x86) directory just for those programs.

Most all the programs that I run on W-7/64 are 32bit programs, with almost NO exceptions.
And, everything runs just fine! Even a very old version of Majong that I got years ago on a floppy disk.

Happy Computing!
Old Timer
 


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