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Has Microsoft considered contributing to the WINE project to get 16-bit Windows programs working on 64-bit Windows?

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  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    I found a guy on another forum that wanted to run 16-bit Windows programs on Windows 7, so I suggested that he try Cygwin and WINE:

     

    http://www.techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=72280

     

    That turned out to be unworkable because of differences in how Windows and UNIX program loaders work, where Windows uses a kernel based loader and UNIX uses a userland based loader:

     

    http://wiki.winehq.org/WineOnWindows#head-865d47787ef70e5a51c975c6542dc6215fd79480

     

    I know that Microsoft discontinued 16-bit support on newer versions of Windows because they did not want to support it anymore. I also know that WINE has excellent 16-bit support because of all of the years that numerous people spent working on 16-bit support and I know that any contributions made to WINE are supported by the WINE project, rather than the contributors.

     

    I imagine that it would be beneficial to Microsoft if 16-bit support worked on 64-bit Windows and they did not have any official obligation to support it. I also imagine that because Microsoft has the source code for all versions of Windows available to them, it would be relatively easy for Microsoft's programmers to write a Windows program loader for WINE that runs on Windows, which the WINE project needs to get WINE working under Windows, especially since Microsoft already has a WOW16 implementation that they could use as a basis for that.

     

    With that in mind, is there any chance that Microsoft could contribute to the WINE project to get 16-bit Windows programs working on Windows through WINE so Windows users, such as the ones above, would still be able to use their old software?

  • User profile image
    DCMonkey

    I'm just going to shake my head and back away.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    DCMonkey said:

    I'm just going to shake my head and back away.

    Especially as the statement on loaders is wrong.

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    blowdart said:
    DCMonkey said:
    *snip*

    Especially as the statement on loaders is wrong.

    Why is that? According to the WINE project the major issue has to do with the differences between how program loaders work on Windows and UNIX operating systems. The other items they list seem fairly trivial to fix provided that the program loader issue is fixed.

  • User profile image
    mstefan

    Shining Arcanine said:
    blowdart said:
    *snip*

    Why is that? According to the WINE project the major issue has to do with the differences between how program loaders work on Windows and UNIX operating systems. The other items they list seem fairly trivial to fix provided that the program loader issue is fixed.

    Every time someone runs a 16-bit program, a small furry animal dies. Just say no.

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    mstefan said:
    Shining Arcanine said:
    *snip*

    Every time someone runs a 16-bit program, a small furry animal dies. Just say no.

    What about people's old games? There are many classic games that were made for Windows 3.1. Should all of them be thrown away?

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    Shining Arcanine said:
    mstefan said:
    *snip*

    What about people's old games? There are many classic games that were made for Windows 3.1. Should all of them be thrown away?

    There are already solutions for that. Virtual PC, VMWare, VirtualBox etc. get the job done just fine. You can even run Windows 3.1 under DOSBox.

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    Sven Groot said:
    Shining Arcanine said:
    *snip*

    There are already solutions for that. Virtual PC, VMWare, VirtualBox etc. get the job done just fine. You can even run Windows 3.1 under DOSBox.

    I tried getting Windows 98 to work under VMWare Player and it was a disaster for me. I could get any updates from Microsoft's Windows Update and had to search the web to try to find any. I also believe that the VMWare Tools would not install without certain updates that I could not find, which was painful.

     

    Please note that the fact that everything works wonderfully (as I have been told) under Windows 98 SE does not mean anything from the perspective of Windows 98 user that never managed to obtain a copy of Windows 98 SE.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    Shining Arcanine said:
    Sven Groot said:
    *snip*

    I tried getting Windows 98 to work under VMWare Player and it was a disaster for me. I could get any updates from Microsoft's Windows Update and had to search the web to try to find any. I also believe that the VMWare Tools would not install without certain updates that I could not find, which was painful.

     

    Please note that the fact that everything works wonderfully (as I have been told) under Windows 98 SE does not mean anything from the perspective of Windows 98 user that never managed to obtain a copy of Windows 98 SE.

    I have gotten both Windows 95 and Windows 98 to work under Virtual PC.

  • User profile image
    Clint

    Windows has a legacy of having applications run for a very long time.  I'm assuming there was a large sum of data that supported this move.  Eventually you have to cut support to move forward.  Windows 3.1 was 18+ years ago ...

     

    Plus what about XP mode in Win7 ultimate or the Compatibility mode where even in Win7x64 you can select "Windows 95".  You also have VMs.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Clint said:

    Windows has a legacy of having applications run for a very long time.  I'm assuming there was a large sum of data that supported this move.  Eventually you have to cut support to move forward.  Windows 3.1 was 18+ years ago ...

     

    Plus what about XP mode in Win7 ultimate or the Compatibility mode where even in Win7x64 you can select "Windows 95".  You also have VMs.

    VMs aren't good for games because the range of hardware they implement is limited (or just poorly emulated). Even with games developed 15 years ago running on today's hardware there's still things that just don't feel right: there's no substitute for running things natively.

     

    How hard would it be to virtualise a graphics chipset, realistically? I don't get why they have to be emulated in software. I know that OGL/D3D can be virtualised to an extent, but what of 2D things?

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    Not sure what Microsoft gets out of the deal...

  • User profile image
    Royal​Schrubber

    Have you tried running WINE under cygwin?

    What are you going to do next, connect mercedes engine to exhaust system built out of lego bricks? You can't connect one system to another system, especially if they were not designed to work together and are vastly different in nature.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    There was a port of Wine to Windows (without needing Cygwin). Not sure what happened to it.

  • User profile image
    Clint

    W3bbo said:
    Clint said:
    *snip*

    VMs aren't good for games because the range of hardware they implement is limited (or just poorly emulated). Even with games developed 15 years ago running on today's hardware there's still things that just don't feel right: there's no substitute for running things natively.

     

    How hard would it be to virtualise a graphics chipset, realistically? I don't get why they have to be emulated in software. I know that OGL/D3D can be virtualised to an extent, but what of 2D things?

    you're telling me a VM can't properly simulate a game that was created before the dawn of 3d accellerated graphic? 

     

    I beg to differ there my friend.  A VM can totally rock Oregon Trail just fine.

  • User profile image
    David7738

    Clint said:
    W3bbo said:
    *snip*

    you're telling me a VM can't properly simulate a game that was created before the dawn of 3d accellerated graphic? 

     

    I beg to differ there my friend.  A VM can totally rock Oregon Trail just fine.

    The Zork series runs well as ever

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    Ray7 said:

    Not sure what Microsoft gets out of the deal...

    They receive the ability to give 64-bit Windows users 16-bit Windows support without having to support it at all. I think that is a big benefit.

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    Clint said:
    W3bbo said:
    *snip*

    you're telling me a VM can't properly simulate a game that was created before the dawn of 3d accellerated graphic? 

     

    I beg to differ there my friend.  A VM can totally rock Oregon Trail just fine.

    I have tried running stuff in virtual machines on Windows. Display lag tends to kill the experience.

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