EAW was very nearly killed off because of the dreaded 7217 error.
The selection screen graphic files are in an "ancient" compressed form of 8 bit PCX files, done to save memory in the 1990s when memory was at a premium.
The EAW exe always contained code to check that the user's PC could handle 8 bit graphics, and if not it was programmed to CTD with the error 7217 message. In the early days of EAW it was rarely a problem, but as the years went by video card makers and their driver writers stopped supporting 8 bit graphics. EAW gamers would update their PCs and find to their horror that they could no longer run EAW. It was particularly bad with Win 97 and XP, but for some reason it is less of a problem with Vista and Win 7.
As a result, Will Gee managed to make a workaround which kicks in if your card/driver cannot handle 8 bit. It is included in all of the 1.28 series of exes. The great side is that you can play EAW without the 7217 error. The minor downside is that when this workaround kicks in you get slow/stuttery mouse movements on your selection screens.
The actual gameplay is not affected in any way.