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32-Bit Application - Definition

32-Bit applications are software programs for MS-DOS or Microsoft Windows that run in a 32-bit flat address space rather than the former 16=bit segmented address space. The shift to 32-bit software applications on IBM Personal Computers became possible with the Intel 80386 microprocessor. This microprocessor and its successors support both the 16-bit segmented address space and a 32-bit linear address space. For compatibility reasons, software is usually written in 16-bit as Operating systems such as Microsoft Windows or OS/2 can run both 16-bit segmented applications as well as 32-bit applications.

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