The term Win32 is used in various contexts.

By Win32 a family of 32-bit Windows operating systems for the architecture x86 is understood.

When one speaks about a Win32-application, you should understand that one means a 32-bit program to be executed in the 32-bit environment and that has the ILP32 data model.

By Win32 a 32-bit API is also understood which is provided by the 32-bit Windows operating system.

There is a subsystem WoW64 on new 64-bit Windows systems to provide compatibility with obsolete 32-bit applications. The system translates the calls of the 32-bit API into the calls of the 64-bit API, redirects requests when working with the register and files and performs some other functions.


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