RE: A binary that runs on Win9X and WinNT

From: Chris Pratley (
Date: Wed Oct 11 2000 - 18:43:33 EDT

The Office team does not make the solution we developed internally for our
own applications available publicly for several reasons:
1. It takes time to extract the code
2. Its priority is always low since it does not help Office
3. The application teams are not in the business of Win32 developer support
(that is what Windows does)
4. This is intellectual property developed to add value to our applications,
as with any "feature". So giving it away only helps competitors, which the
Office team is not particularly interested in.

Now, you might ask, why does the Windows team not make this available to
developers? It sure would help the Windows platform. The reasons for that
are basically that everyone in Windows land works on Win2000/Whistler, not
on ancient history (i.e. Win9x), and they are not that interested in
back-porting capabilities of the new OS onto the old OS. You could argue (as
I have) that shipping this capability would help the new OS because people
would write more apps that take advantage of Win2000's capabilities.
However, it appears (possibly correctly) the issue simply does not rise
above the noise of requested work items.

That said, Basis Tech and some other third parties offer solutions for
developers in this situation. Since they're making a business out of it,
maybe we shouldn't offer an MS solution... :-)

Group Program Manager
Microsoft Word

Sent with Office10 2202.6 wordmail on

-----Original Message-----
From: Lars Marius Garshol []
Sent: October 11, 2000 1:20 PM
To: Unicode List
Subject: Re: A binary that runs on Win9X and WinNT

* Lars Marius Garshol
| We have considered implementing compatibility versions of the
| wide-string functions that basically map to code-paged text, but
| this seems like an awful lot of work and in any case it seems
| basically incredible that nobody has done this before.

* Michael Kaplan
| Microsoft has a white paper on writing a Unicode app for all
| platforms, see the articles section on
| for details.

This white paper describes the solution that we have already
considered and are hoping to avoid.  Such a set of hand-written
wrapper functions around the Win32 API functions must have been
written dozens of times already?  Doesn't someone offer this as a
product somewhere? 

(Of course, since Microsoft themselves must have solved this problem
for their own applications, why on earth do they not make the solution

--Lars M.

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