Windows 7 Application and Device Compatibility

We recognize that your PC experience involves programs and devices from many different providers, so we’ve made a significant effort to ensure that the applications and devices you use and love are compatible with Windows 7 and work the way you’d expect them to. Windows 7 helps address application compatibility in several ways. Perhaps most importantly, we worked to minimize changes in the way applications and devices interact with Windows. As a result, the work done by third-party software and hardware developers to make their products work on Windows Vista generally carries forward for Windows 7. In most cases, the same software and hardware that works with Windows Vista will also work with Windows 7.

In addition, we created a comprehensive list of the most widely used consumer and business applications, which were tested throughout the development cycle. We also created new and improved tools such as the Windows Upgrade Advisor, Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT), Windows Compatibility Center, Quality Cookbook, Application Verifier, and ISV Developer Portal to help customers and software developers assess application compatibility. For untested programs or applications developed in-house, Windows 7 offers a number of in-the-box compatibility aids. For example, if a program fails to install because of a hard-coded version check, the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter can automatically fix the problem (with the user’s consent) and rerun the installer. Windows 7 also includes an expanded application shim infrastructure and a Problem Steps Recorder that people can use to capture application compatibility issues for evaluation by technical experts.

Furthermore, we continually monitor application compatibility issues throughout the Windows ecosystem. We designed Windows 7 to monitor application health and, with the user’s permission, provide feedback to Microsoft so that we can work quickly with application developers to resolve compatibility problems and issue a fix if necessary. Microsoft has also invested in partner outreach efforts so that software developers have the resources required to ensure application compatibility.

As with applications, we are also working to ensure that devices compatible with Windows Vista will work just as well with Windows 7. As a part of this effort, we have greatly expanded the list of devices and peripherals being tracked for compatibility with Windows 7. We have identified thousands of devices through data collected via the Customer Experience Improvement Program and through outreach efforts to device and PC manufacturers, and we have tested those devices for compatibility with Windows 7. When updated device drivers are required, we are working to ensure that you can get them directly from Windows Update or through links to driver downloads on device manufacturer Web sites.

Source of Information : Windows 7 Product Guide


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