Fix Version/s: None
Operating System: ReactOS
Platform: x86 Hardware
See http://www.reactos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10991 for more details
According to the Microsoft page at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa384143(v=vs.85
The 64-bit Windows Installer can seamlessly install 32-bit MSI-based applications on 64-bit Windows. For older applications that use a 16-bit stub to launch a 32-bit installation engine, 64-bit Windows recognizes specific 16-bit installer programs and substitutes a ported 32-bit version.
16-bit DOS, Windows, or OS/2 applications often use a 16-bit stub to check the machine type, then launch a 32-bit installation engine to actually perform the installation. To enable installation of applications that use this technique, 64-bit Windows substitutes 32-bit versions for the following 16-bit installer programs:
Microsoft Setup for Windows 1.2
Microsoft Setup for Windows 2.6
Microsoft Setup for Windows 3.0
Microsoft Setup for Windows 3.01
The list of substitutions is stored in the registry under the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NtVdm64.
The issue I am reporting is not that ReactOS doesn't run 16-bit programs, but that it doesn't detect the installer stubs as Windows does and redirect them to the proper installers. Adding support for this will allow many more programs to run on ReactOS and make it function like Windows does.
Although the previous article mentions that this behavior is on 64 bit windows, I believe it is applicable to ReactOS because it doesn't support 16-bit software, whereas normal 32-bit Windows does.