Previously I wrote a post about making sure the Windows PATH environment variable doesn’t exceed a certain length.
I found out it’s possible to use other environment variables to help you shorten the path. For example, you could store the C:\Program Files (x86) prefix in a new environment variable name PA1 and the C:\Program Files prefix in PA2.
You can then write %PA1%\Microsoft\… instead of C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\… in your PATH variable.
NOTE: The new environment variables must be parsed by the system before the PATH variable, which also means they must appear before PATH when sorted alphabetically.