One Dev Question with Raymond Chen - Why are there "Program Files" and "Program Files (x86)" directories?

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Description

The 'One Dev Question with Raymond Chen' video series is part of the One Dev Minute channel.  In this series, longtime Microsoft developer and semi-official Windows historian Raymond Chen covers a series of questions about Microsoft Windows development, team culture, and/or history.  If you have additional questions for Raymond, please add your questions in the comments section below.  You can also find out more development details about Windows and its history on Raymond's blog.

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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    DAMANgoldbe​rg

    Difference between Material Design in Android and Fluent Design in Windows 10.x?

  • User profile image
    josh

    interesting, but why was it

    Program Files and Program Files x86

    instead of

    Program Files and Program Files x64?

  • User profile image
    Josh

    Because x64 was set to become the standard so it got the basic naming.

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    GeeLaw

    Well it's actually not true that all programs under "Programs Files" are 64-bit, on a 64-bit Windows. The "WindowsApps" folder have all apps downloaded from Windows Store, including those of 32-bits and platform-neutral apps.

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    Nirmal4G

    You said that because of different architectures there were "Program Files (x86)" folders but why put Windows Apps that contain all x86, x64, ARM into "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" on x64, x86, ARM, you could have put on the root folder named "C:\Apps" or "C:\WindowsApps"?

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    Todd Seiler

    There is a method to the madness! I just assumed everyone was mad.

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