Submitted Dave Astle, Oct 02 1999 05:37 AM | Last updated Oct 02 1999 05:37 AM
A word is usually the natural size of data that a processor works with. On early x86 systems, a word was 16 bits. On 32-bit systems, a word is 32 bits. (However, for compatibility with 8088 terminology, Windows uses "word" to mean 16 bits.) On 64-bit systems, a word is 64 bits, but often the operating system "word" is 32 bits for compatibility with existing 32-bit Unix systems.