Ahh! Legacy apps won’t work in Windows 7!

I really need to get better at updating and writing more. There has just been so much buzz about the new Windows Mobile Phone 7 that is rumored for release around the holiday season of this year that I have been admittedly struggling with topics for Windows 7 the OS!

Lately, I’ve been encountering clients who have been encountering trouble when attempting to install applications that were designed for a legacy OS. Now the fun part — I constantly get asked, “What is a ‘legacy’ operating system?”

Simply put — it just means ‘old’ or outdated. Legacy applications / platforms are no longer the favorite ice cream flavor essentially.

I usually encounter clients complaining of incompatibility issues when their applications were designing to work on Win 2K or a DOS-based platform. Windows XP had the luxury of working with these apps (most of the time) but many are discovering that a DOS based app will not work in Windows Vista or Windows 7. Why is this?

Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a drastically different framework than the OS’ that preceded them. With that said, one can attempt to run the application or installation for a driver through compatibility mode or XP mode — but what if that doesn’t work?

Microsoft has released a “refresh” to ensure backwards compatibility. “The backward compatibility feature in Windows 7 and in Windows Server 2008 R2 detects the manifest in a DLL and sets the dynamic context of a DLL to Windows 7 or to Windows Vista. This enables Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to provide a Windows Vista context for applications that are designed for earlier versions of Windows,” Microsoft stated.

If you are having trouble with certain areas of backwards compatibility and do not have one of the following updates, follow the links to download them now directly at Microsoft:

All supported x86-based versions of Windows 7
All supported x64-based versions of Windows 7
All supported x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2
All supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2

Reminder: All of my posts are provided "AS IS", imply no warranties, and confer no rights or special privileges. Use of included postings, code samples and other works are subject to the terms specified at Microsoft. For more information, click here.

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