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Re: Windows emacs-25.1 i686 vs x86_64?

From: Perry E. Metzger
Subject: Re: Windows emacs-25.1 i686 vs x86_64?
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2016 13:49:42 -0500

On Mon, 07 Nov 2016 09:43:23 -0500 Richard Stallman <address@hidden>
> Given that Windows is so widely used, and that so many users stick
> to old versions of it, it is plausible to me that millions of people
> still use Windows 98.  Maybe tens or hundreds of millions.

It is not likely. There is statistical information that was
cited earlier in this thread. Windows 9x and ME are now below 0.01%
usage. How much below is hard to measure.

Emacs was likely never particularly popular with people willing to
hold on to an OS for that long either, as such people are typically
not technical users (and in fact, the users of those systems are in
fact typically not people at all in the sense that such systems,
when they remain, are embedded systems doing things like balancing
car wheels and running old cash registers).

So, given a fraction of a percent userbase and a fraction of a
percent for that OS, I think it would be fairly safe to assume we're
talking about a fraction of a percent of a fraction of a percent,
probably too small to measure.

Such people also are unlikely to have very good ability to
use the internet because their machines would be taken over by
malware within seconds of attaching to an open network, and because
no web browsers exist for such platforms capable of using modern web
sites. I would guess, therefore, that they're unlikely to be
downloading new copies of Emacs as they arise.

There is nothing, IMHO, wrong with telling such users that they will
have to use Emacs 25.1 and before and documenting that. I would be
quite sincerely surprised, however, if anyone at all was

> That number may still be growing.  ISTR that even a few years ago
> people were still installing unauthorized copies of Windows 98 on
> PCs, because Microsoft made it harder to install subsequent Windows
> versions.

That has not been true in a long time. As noted, the statistics do not
bear this out, and in fact, it is not hard to install a more recent
version of Windows even without Microsoft permission. If you're in a
country like China you can get your hands on unlocked much more recent
versions of Windows without paying for it.

Indeed, the situation is such that Microsoft more or less made it
possible to install Windows 10 without any license key. The only real
effect of this is that you get a watermark in one corner of the
screen telling you that you should register your copy.

> It would not surprise me if Windows 98 was installed on
> millions of new PCs this year.

I will bet you this is not the case.

Perry E. Metzger                address@hidden

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