Have you ever seen “Stock Viewer Settings (32-bit)” in your Control Panel? No? Well, I have!
It seems something weird, isn’t it? A Control Panel applet configure something as “Stock Viewer”…? Hmmm… If you get this in Control Panel, just start it up. You see a windows called “Stock Viewer Options” where you can configure your download preferences for, presumably, Stock Viewer. The current selection is “Download Current and Past Stock Prices”, but it seems there is only one other option and it’s grayed out. The 2nd option’s text seems very doubtful: “Download Future Stock Prices (Requires 64TB RAM and 6800GHz Processor)”. Wow, a tool to download future (!) stock prices? And you need what? 64TB of RAM and a 6800GHz CPU? Oh my…! Doesn’t this sound a little bit as some kind of malware? Let’s find out.
In Task Manager we can see the “application” “Stock Viewer Options” (which is the window I was just talking about). Right-click it and select “Go To Process”.
We notice a 32 bit process based on the StockViewerControlPanel.exe image. Right-click it and select Properties.
The full path to the exe is:
- On 32 bit Windows: %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit\Compatibility Administrator (32-bit)\Demo Application\StockViewer
- On 64 bit Windows: %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit\Compatibility Administrator (32-bit)\Demo Application\StockViewer
Okay, this sounds better. Stock Viewer seems to be a demo application (with a companion Control Panel applet), which is part of Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT). That seems very plausible, as I have indeed ACT 5.6 (the latest version at the time of writing) installed.
Getting more details doesn’t reveal much more. The description just says “Stock Viewer Control Panel”.
In the Start menu we can indeed find Stock Viewer, i.e. under Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit – Demo Application.
If we start it, we just see the following:
Well, it seems something scary was found, but at the end it was just a demo application, part of ACT 5.6 (I don’t know if it’s there in older versions too). The bottom line is you don’t have to worry about it, don’t have to do a thing and you may safely ignore it.