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I have Lion, running on a 64 bit kernel

$ uname -a
Darwin 11.4.0 Darwin Kernel Version 11.4.0: Mon Apr  9 19:32:15 PDT 2012; root:xnu-1699.26.8~1/RELEASE_X86_64 x86_64

but I have a number of 32 bit apps (among which, to my surprise, Google Chrome) that run perfectly fine.

I am not overly concerned about Chrome, but there are a few things I'd loathe to lose, either because they cost me money (Photoshop CS3, which should actually work), or because I like then (Luna menu, RapidoSerial, which are not on RoaringApps).

Is there a final yes/no answer to the question, will a generic 32 bit intel app run on ML?

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iWork (Pages, Keynote, and GarageBand) are all 32bit and work just fine in Mountain Lion. 64bit operating systems and processors are all capable of running 32bit code without any issues. – user10355 Jul 30 '12 at 14:55
up vote 1 down vote accepted

For a generic 32bit Application the answer is yes, confirmed yourself with Google Chrome. it should run just fine.

Now for Utility programs, and programs that interact directly with OS X specific features, the answer will likely be no, those programs will need updates to run at their best.

Applications interacting with hardware, will also likely need updates or tweeks to their drivers in order to work.

Other than that you should not have to worry about running 32bit programs on Mountain Lion. I would try checking the developer's websites for Mountain lion compatibility to be sure on your expensive mission critical apps before upgrading full time to Mountain Lion.

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Yes, they do run. I have a number of Apps which come in 32 bit only (they do not have the "run in 32 bit mode" switch when you display the information panel) and they run fine.

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