The sad but short story of the SM_AccessoriesName registry value

Raymond Chen

The SM_AccessoriesName is another victim of programs that reach into undocumented sections of the registry.

This registry value was never documented since it existed for internal use, and for the 64-bit release of Windows, we finally were able to get rid of it in some circumstances.

Until the application compatibility team found a major program that used it. So back it goes, at least for now, until they can figure out a way to keep that program happy while still removing the value.¹ (Perhaps they may be able to shim it.)

“Why not just break the program and tell the vendor to fix their busted program?”

Easier said than done. The vendor of this particular program happens to be a vicious competitor of Microsoft, who in the past has been known to complain loudly to anyone who will listen that Microsoft intentionally breaks their programs in order to gain a competitive advantage. Breaking their program would just be inviting another lawsuit. “Microsoft once again wields its monopoly power to punish competitors.”

Such is the life of the application compatibility team.

¹ I just went back and checked, and in Windows 10, the registry value is finally gone. Only took, what, 10 years?