If I write a C program and compile it to an
.exe file, the
.exe file contains raw machine instructions to the CPU. (I think).
If so, how is it possible for me to run the compiled file on any computer that runs a modern version of Windows? Each family of CPUs has a different instruction set. So how come any computer that runs the appropriate OS can understand the instructions in my
.exe file, regardless of it's physical CPU?
Also, often in websites in the "download" page of some application, you have a download for Windows, for Linux, and for Mac (often two downloads for each OS, for 86 and 64 bit computers). Why aren't there many more downloads, for each family of CPUs?