Windows 7: Application Compatibility

I’ve just spend an hour in gathering some additional information around Windows 7 Application Compatibility. Till now when we moved to a new operating system version a significant amount of effort was required with regard to application compatibility. So will companies that invested in Windows Vista Application compatibility have to do all that work again for Windows 7 ?

Unfortunately not, on almost any Microsoft source i found around Application Compatibility, the following statements are being made:

“The key is, if you are ready for Vista, you will be ready for Windows 7”

“if your application can run in Vista, it can run in Windows 7”

An updated version of the Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) for Windows 7 will be released in the coming months, but according to a comment of one of the Springboard Series participants, it would only have one additional check related to Windows 7.

Those who took a look at the Windows 7 internal version number might have noticed that this is 6.1. This is important for application compatibility as well, since many applications would check for the major operating system version number (as seen when moving from Windows XP version 5.1 to Windows Vista version 6.0.

So the conclusion is that those companies who want to accelerate their desktop migration from Windows XP to Windows 7, could actually start testing their applications against Windows Vista and / or the Windows 7 Beta version.

Additional Resources:

Be ready for Windows 7: Application Compatibility Jay Paloma, Deployment Technical Specialist from the Microsoft Singapore Office explaining Windows 7 application compatibility.

Windows 7 Application Quality Cookbook

Springboard Series

Application Compatibility and User Account Control

2 Replies to “Windows 7: Application Compatibility”

  1. Interesting point. will everything that works on vista work on 7. of course the answer is no. I work for changebase a company that specialises in writing automated compatibility testing and remediation software and I have just finished writing a white paper on this (it weill be on our site in the next couple of days). the upshot is that because 7 is the same basic platform as vista most of the rules re compatibility apply to both. however there are a number of changes that will mean that the hurdles you have to jump to get to 7 are higher than those to get to vista if you are moving from say xp. for example, mail is being deprecated, there are a number of api’s that are being deprecated, ie8 will come as standard, the new version of iis will be more restrictive than the default for vista…
    the work will not be wasted in testing for vista if the target is 7 but there will be more to do as well. i would test on 7. I would also use an automated testing tool… but then I would say that 🙂

  2. Hi Grant,
    Many thanks for your comments, and yes I do agree, i’m sure there will be surprises where we will see that unfortunately it isn’t as straight forward as people want us to beleve. Let me know when you have published your whitepaper, I am happy to reference it here.
    Kind Regards

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