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02 Jun 2012  
RP McIntosh

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
Buying Advice, Bittedness

I'm not sure where to post this, but if it belongs elsewhere, I hope someone will tell me.

I'm in the process of purchasing a new system for a family member, and I have found a vendor who will sell me the system with EITHER the 64 bit or the 32 bit version of Windows 7 installed. In broad general terms, I understand the advantage of 64 bit over 32 bit--ability to use more memory, better performance, expecially on applications designed for 64 bit systems, etc. However, here is my dilemma. This family member has a couple of old DOS programs she uses regularly, and three or four old 16 bit Windows programs. She does NOT use any particularly resource intensive applications--photo editing, video editing, etc. She uses mostly Microsof Office and IBM Lotus data base, spreadsheets, word processing, etc, and of course, accesses the internet and does e-mail. So with that introduction, my questions:

1. Can I assume that if I opt for the 32 bit version of Windows 7, she will be able to install and use her old 16 bit Windows programs?

2. Same question for the old DOS programs, (which run just fine on her current Windows XP System)?

3. A special question concerning Outlook Express. She is used to using OE, and of course, has all her current e-mail in Outlook Express. If I get the 32 bit version of Windows 7, will it run Outlook Express OK? And if so, how exactly do I go about getting Outlook Express installed on the system? I'm assuming that the system will come with IE 9 installed, and that Outlook Express is NOT provided with IE 9. Assuming that it will run at all, how would I get it installed, or would I need to install an older version of IE to get OE to work? I realize that there are other e-mail solutions--Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird, etc. But IF I could get OE to work, it would be much simpler, since it would not require any conversion of existing e-mail files, and she is already familiar with it.

Any help on any of these questions would be greatly appreciated.

PS. I AM aware of the XP Mode solution (use it myself on my own system). But it is a level of complexity that I would rather avoid with this family member of possible.
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