What Is Microsoft Dooflop?

Many folks have noticed that in their computer's WINDOWS (or WINNT) directory there sits a very curiously named file--dooflop.exe--that when double clicked does nothing. Checking its version info only reveals that it is a Microsoft product, seemingly known only to the world as "Microsoft dooflop".

So what is it?

There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of discussion as to what "dooflop" is or what it does. In fact, what little discussion there has been over time is present in Google's Newsgroup Archives, and it ranges from people giving a link to a Microsoft site describing the files contained in the Internet Explorer 4.x setup packages, which happen to contain "dooflop" all the way down to people saying "who cares?". So I'm going to mix together all that I've been able to find out about this mystery file and share it here. I can't say for sure what it does, but I can tell you a little about what it is bundled with and what it might do had this technology ever been used.

When Internet Explorer 4.0 was released for the first time (this is known as the "Gold" release of a product in Microsoft parlance...) it came with some optional components. Some of these were around for quite a while, but nearly all of them have died away. A good example of one that was around for a while would be Frontpage Express. What "dooflop" seems to have been bundled with is the "Microsoft Music Control"...a seemingly never much used or explored way to play music in web pages. (Some of the filenames associated with the music control contain the string or are named "IMRT", which to my way of thinking suggests "Internet Music Run Time" or something similar.)

I've never seen a web page that claimed to make use of the Microsoft Music Control, so I doubt it ever got very far along. This is probably why so little is known about "dooflop" and its purpose.

After doing some exploring with a text editor capable of displaying most of the contents of a binary file and some fiddling around with a Win32 resource viewer, I have come to determine that the program file contains one dialog box with some nondescript placeholder text as well as a menu bar with a File > Exit and Help > About command. I cannot determine if at any point this UI is ever used by the "dooflop" program.

Exploring the file with the text editor reveals some error messages relating to the registration and unregistration of what I would presume to be "active music components".

As best I can guess, the program is a sort of registrar application and handles the task of registering or unregistering active music control components.

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Copyright 2005 by Walsh Computer Technology. All Rights Reserved.