Microsoft wants to 'rescue' apps for Windows 7

Company is looking at what made some Windows programs not run in Vista. In a few cases, it's been able to make programs that didn't run in Vista work in Windows 7.

The rule of thumb is that if a program runs in Vista, it will run in Windows 7 . Conversely, in general, programs that won't run in Vista also won't work with Windows 7.

Windows 7
Windows 7 bears a resemblance to Vista. ZDNet UK

At least in a few cases, though, even applications that didn't run in Vista will run in Windows 7. That's because of some work that Microsoft has done to "rescue" certain types of programs that were rendered incompatible by the move to Vista.

"Along with the core tenet of ensuring that any application that worked on Windows Vista also works on Windows 7, we have a stretch goal to 'raise the bar' and make applications work on Windows 7 that never worked on Windows Vista," Microsoft said in a blog posting this week.

So far, Microsoft said, it has managed to take about 30 international applications that were broken in Vista and make them work in Windows 7. Among the "rescued" titles are things like the Spanish-language IKEA Home Kitchen Planner, a German version of QuickTime, and the Arabic program Khalifa Cartoon Characters Creator.

"This means that Windows 7 will have higher application compatibility than Windows Vista," Microsoft said. Microsoft's blog lists a host of non-English applications that have been "rescued." Presumably, it is doing the same with some English programs, though the company did not offer up any names.

Application compatibility has always been a key benchmark for new Windows releases and one of the knocks on Vista was the significant number of software and hardware titles that didn't work at launch.

Windows 7 is seen as having less of an incompatibility issue, in part because of Microsoft's work, but also because it is making less significant changes to things like the driver model and other issues that tend to affect compatibility. The company also took other steps, such as making Windows 7 technically version 6.1 of Windows , in an effort to try to make the software more likely to run with older software.

Still, while most Vista-compatible applications should run fine in Windows 7, Microsoft did note that there are always a class of applications that run very close to the operating system--things like security software--that have to be tweaked for a new version. That will also be the case this time around, Microsoft said.

About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments
    Latest Galleries from CNET
    15 crazy old phones from a Korean museum (pictures)
    10 gloriously geeky highlights from 2014 (pictures)
    2015.5 Volvo XC60: updated tech, understated design
    Busted! CNET readers show us their broken devices (pictures)
    Take a closer look at the BlackBerry Classic (pictures)