A misleading term used by Microsoft in adverts for Windows 95. Microsoft claimed that 32-bit equated to multitasking and stability.

32-bit really only indicates the size of data, memory, or opcodes (instructions) a CPU can handle. It has little bearing on what the software or operating system can do, even if the opcodes used are 32 bits long.

Duncman's writeup here isn't 100% precise. "32 bits" are not used to specify the size of opcodes; in fact, many CPUs (including the popular x86 design) have variable-length opcodes.

"32 bit", in the Windows 95 marketing conspiracy meaning of the word, means that the operating environment supposedly is running in "true 32bit mode", which implies a direct 32 bit (4gb) memory addressing range, among other things. No more room to write, but look out for Win16MuTexes.

Refers to the size of registers in a microprocessor, or the size of a pointer. 32-bit pointers can access a total of 4 Gigabytes of memory.

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