32-bit optional in Windows Server 2008 R2


You may not but have have been waiting for a looong time for this to be happening. We finally ship an operating system where the support of 32-bit applications has become optional. All 64-bit baby! I’ve been blogging about 64-bit Windows for some time. Less frequent in recent times, more frequent in the past.

With Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Core we will ship the first operating system with optional 32-bit support. You will have to explicitly enable 32-bit application support. WoW64, the 32-bit app support layer, is not installed by default. This reduces the attach surface, helps saving memory and makes the whole OS, when running native 64-bit apps only, leaner.

The only person impacted by this change is most likely the system administrator.

If admins run 32-bit code on Server Core they’ll  receive an error message that the application cannot be executed due to lack of 32-bit application support.

32-bit support is an optional component and can be installed by running the following command from the command line:

start /w ocsetup ServerCore-WOW64

Resources:

Server Core
Server Core blog
ocsetup on Server

Comments (10)

  1. :o) says:

    Doesn’t it also reduce the attack surface?

  2. Yes. Not having to care about some 32-bit specific issues, it helps reducing the attack surface too.

  3. News says:

    You may not but have have been waiting for a looong time for this to be happening. We finally ship an

  4. Public says:

    The same day the Windows 7 beta was released, the Windows Server 2008 R2 beta went public as well , and

  5. IT News says:

    The same day the Windows 7 beta was released, the Windows Server 2008 R2 beta went public as well , and

  6. This past couple of week I’ve been contacted by a couple of developers concerned with Microsoft’s decision to stop supporting the Visual Basic 6.0 IDE, but to continue support for the Visual Basic runtime and some support libraries in Windows 7 and 2008.

  7. DWalker says:

    You meant to say "attack surface", not "attach surface."

  8. Lpareo says:

    I tried to hit this command, but it says me : Cannot find the windows component : ServerCore-WOW64

  9. Sean says:

    Yep, I get that issue. Usual MS-type solution:

    "Do this to fix your problem"

    "I tried and it doesn't work"

    <silence>

  10. troy says:

    that command is only available on server 2008 r2. sounds like your running it not as admin or on a non server 2008 r2 x64