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16-Bit Application - Definition

16-Bit applications are software programs for MS-DOS or Microsoft Windows, which originally ran on the 16-bit Intel 8088 and 80286 microprocessors. They use a segmented address space to extend the range of addresses from what is possible with just a 16-bit address. Programs with more than 64 kilobytes of code or data had to waste time switching between segments. 16-bit applications all run in the same, shared, address space meaning that the crash of a 16-bit application can bring down the entire system. 16-bit applications cannot handle filenames longer than 8 characters with the 3 character file extension.

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