Microsoft has announced they will begin phasing out support for 32-bit Windows, and they won’t be offering the Windows 10 May 2020 Update to OEMs for 32-bit systems. We want you to know what this means, and how it affects SocketTools and its future development.
The important thing to keep in mind is that this announcement does not mean Microsoft is discontinuing all support for 32-bit Windows platforms immediately. For now, they are simply limiting new OEM distributions to 64-bit Windows. Microsoft will continue to provide security and feature updates for current 32-bit versions of Windows 10.
In addition, this announcement has no effect on WoW64, the Windows on Windows subsystem that provides 32-bit compatibility for 64-bit versions of Windows. Your 32-bit applications will continue to run on 64-bit Windows just as they always have.
If you’re only providing a 32-bit version of your software, this is a good time to consider releasing native 64-bit versions of your applications. WoW64 is an optional subsystem, and it can be disabled by the system administrator. It’s common for Windows Server installations to not have WoW64 installed to minimize the potential impacts of 32-bit malware.
SocketTools has supported native 64-bit code for quite a while now and updating your code to use the 64-bit components and libraries is a straight-forward process. Often, all that’s required is changing some compiler options and adding 64-bit Windows (x64) as a target platform.
We will continue to provide support, updates and improvements for the 32-bit versions of the SocketTools components. There are no plans to deprecate support for the 32-bit .NET classes, ActiveX controls and libraries. Backwards compatibility has always been an important consideration for us, and just as we continue to support Windows XP and languages like Visual Basic 6, we will support 32-bit code on Windows 10 into the future.