Also found in: Acronyms.


An application programming interface that is common to all Microsoft's 32-bit Windows operating systems. These currently include: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT and Windows CE.


(1) A 32-bit version of Windows. Many editions of Windows have come in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. See 32-bit computing and x86/x64.

(2) Win32 is the programming interface (API) for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows operating systems. Starting with Windows 95, developers write applications that call the routines in the Win32 API. With Windows 8, the WinRT programming interface was used for tablet-style apps.

An application written to Win32 can run in all Windows versions except Windows RT on ARM tablets. In addition, special routines in server versions of Windows may not run in Windows clients. See Win RT.

An ApplicationUsing ThisAPI          Can Run in Windows

 WinRT        Windows 8, Windows RT

 Win32        95/98, NT, 2000, XP, 7, 8 and 10

 Win32s       Win32 + 3.1

 Win32c       95

 Win16        3.x, 95/98, NT, 2000, XP
References in periodicals archive ?
Delphi for Win32 is the only Win32 IDE with support for building native Win32 Vista applications with advanced features like Vista Glass, and in the good Delphi tradition, without any changes to existing source code.
Delphi for Win32 can be ordered today, and is available in English, German, Japanese and French.
New features and capabilities provided by Delphi for Win32 include:
Delphi for Win32 sports hundreds of quality improvements that make both Delphi and applications built in Delphi more reliable and robust than ever.
Delphi 2007 for Win32 can be ordered today and will ship simultaneously in English, German, Japanese and French in March.
The Aladdin CSRT observes a total email increase of 30 percent as a result of a 400 percent increase in email viruses due to Win32.