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The file was first distributed with Windows 3.0 and contained the icons for launching many popular DOS applications of the time, such as WordPerfect and Lotus 123. Windows setup included the option of searching the local drives for compatible DOS applications and if found, would create an item in Program Manager under the Applications program group, with an appropriate icon from the file.
Although all but deprecated, with modern Microsoft Operating System compatible applications being Windows based. However, the file may be useful in giving a user created application or shortcut a custom icon.