Feature Request: SysWOW64 as optional feature


Windows Update size and install duration, WIM sizes, registry sizes and memory consumption. All of this could be potentially / drastically reduced if Windows Server vNext could have an option to remove SysWOW64.


I am not saying vNext should be shipped without it. Many things in Windows Server are not yet compiled in 64bit, secondly many popular applications or installers aren't running in 64bit natively. 


I believe setting the bar and outlook in this regards, as you did with deprecating 32bit Windows Server starting with Windows Server 2008, could motivate your internal teams, partners and devs to move on. 

Imagine a world where all popular application such as Citrix Workspace would be  natively compiled 64bit apps. I am not seeing this from a perspective as a Dev, but rather the overhead we could save in Windows. I have proposed this, along others for Windows 10 / 11 already, and with all the ongoing virtualization based security I believe this is a good step forward.

FR: Begin internal evaluation / works to enable / disable SysWOW64 as optional Windows Feature - beginning in Windows Server Core installation option, later on GUI installation option.

Thanks for considering, I imagine it is a rocky way. :rocket:

4 Replies
AFAIK, ServerCore-WOW64 feature can be disabled via Dism tool
I have seen such things since Windows Server 2012, but to be honest never bothered if this is really doing what it says in the description, thanks for reminding me Abbodi, I will give it a try on vNext.
Tbh it looks like an impossible task, especially with Microsoft engineering resources focusing on Windows Server Azure Edition. Removing the 32-bit compatibility stack would break everything - from Windows Server components to Microsoft apps (MECM/Exchange etc) to third-party apps.
Windows Server Nano tried this in the past. It failed.
I believe it's time to move on. Exchange and SCCM could be recompiled to have only 64bit execution.

Please mind the idea is to have this as optional feature, so one could add it in case your fav dev / app is not bothering about ditching x86.

Yet the extra mile is to solve it for the OS first. With the removal of IE I see good chances.