Regarding ECMA-234, Richard Birkby was kind enough to mention this:
"IIRC, this was an attempt by Sun and others to prevent Windows 95 (and hence
Win32) becoming popular. You see, they had created WABI (Windows Application
Binary Interface) for emulating the Windows API on Unix (think WINE). But,
it only supported Win16. So obviously, if every application became 32 bit,
Sun would have to put a lot of resources into updating WABI.
Their approach was to attempt to standardize the Win16 API hoping this would
stall Microsoft..."

Tomas Restrepo

Software developer located in Colombia. Sr. PFE at Microsoft.