Some acronyms I am using this week

I found myself using these acronyms repeatedly this week and since they are all relevant to testing, I figured I would share them.

WoW – (no, not that WoW). For us, this means "Windows on Windows" and is the state a machine is in if a 32 bit application is run on a 64 bit version of Windows. This is a common configuration especially for users that have had old versions of Office – which were only made for 32 bit – and have upgraded to new versions. It is fully supported and in one test viewpoint can be seen as a "test case in a matrix of test cases."

X86 – because Intel was making CPUs that ended with the digits "86," we commonly refer to 32 bit applications as "x86" applications. This decision predates me and I find it odd for two reasons:

  1. Why is there an "x" instead of an "I" for Intel?
  2. And…

X64 – We refer to 64 bit applications as x64, so the "86" really stands out.

MSI – Windows Installer. This is the method of installation you see when you buy a CD and run setup from it. Files and settings are copied to your machine all at once from the CD, or in some cases, you can set files to only be installed if you need them. You can also setup up an install point for everyone at your company and run custom installs if you want – for instance, don’t install a certain application if no one at your company uses it, or make sure everyone gets an otherwise optional component because your company always uses it.

C2R – Click to Run : a newer setup technology we use. If you download Office 365, for instance, you get an installer that copies over the files you need first, then adds other files as you need them. One advantage here is that you can run an application while the rest are being installed – I typically launch Outlook and OneNote and let them sync while the rest of the Office applications are being queued.

Astute readers will guess what type of testing I am performing this week – setup testing. Generally speaking this takes more time than other testing but installation absolutely has to work.

On the plus side, this is very easy to run on one machine (or several VMs) and move on to another task while setup is actually completing. So even while testing I can answer email or write this blog article.

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,


Comments (3)

  1. Lon Orenstein says:


    Thanks for a great blog series and your contributions to my favorite program, OneNote!

    The answer to x86 is this (I was around for all these):  the original processors from Intel were the 8086 and 8088, then came the 286, 386, and 486.  That's what the X is for — which "prefix" to the processor name.  Then they started using names like Pentium, Celeron, and so on…

    And so it goes…


  2. John says:

    OK, so the x is a wildcard.  Got it.  Thanks – now it makes a bit more sense.

  3. For the record, the x64 is because we're using AMD64, which natively supports 32-bit code.

    IA64 never caught on because no one in management at Intel realised that it was an incredibly stupid idea to require that 99% of the world migrate to an incompatible platform, and take a massive performance (and stability) hit on 32-bit code.

    (I could say something about Win8 and touch here, but I'll refrain)