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Developer(s) Microsoft
Latest version 1809
Active Yes
Platform(s) Windows
Emulates Legacy Windows (16/32-bit)

Windows on Windows (often shortened to WoW) is a component of Windows NT that allows 16-bit programs to run in 32-bit environments, also known as NTVDM, or in the case of WoW64 for x64 releases of Windows, 32-bit programs in 64-bit.


While WoW64 is able to run most if not all 32-bit applications and games on contemporary 64-bit versions of Windows, support for 16-bit applications in 64-bit Windows is nonexistent; attempting to run 16-bit EXEs will result in an error message saying that the program is incompatible. For this, it is recommended to use DOSBox or WineVDM in some instances. That being said, the WoW layer for 16-bit applications isn't perfect either, and suffers from compatibility issues. Some games may run too fast, while others suffer from glitches or instability.