Holy cow, I wrote a book!
A customer from a major software vendor asked,
"What is the significance of the command value
that can be found under
It appears to be a copy of the default value,
but with the program name replaced with apparent garbage.
We've seen this both with Microsoft products as well as
products by other companies.
There is no mention of this value in
the documentation on static verbs."
The customer didn't explain why they were interested in this particular
Maybe they thought it was enabling some super magical powers,
and they wanted to get in on that action.
(If that was the case, then they failed to notice that the same
command value also existed in the
verb registration for their own program!)
That strange garbage-looking string was placed there
by Windows Installer (also known as MSI).
It is the so-called
that Windows Installer uses to figure out what program to run
when the verb is invoked by the shell.
For compatibility with programs that read the registry directly
(because everybody knows that reading the registry is
much cooler than using the API),
the default value is set to something approximating
the local executable's path.
That default value might be incorrect if the application has
moved in the meantime,
and it might be
if the application is marked as install-on-demand and has
never been used,
but at least it keeps those rogue programs working 99% of the time.