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Windows 7 Software Compatibility

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We regularly use and otherwise test what we feel is a representative collection of mostly modern software. This includes standard software applications—productivity solutions and the like—as well as games.

We both run a standard set of applications across most of our desktop and mobile PCs. We’ve also tested numerous video games to see how they fare under Windows 7. (Hey, someone has to do it.) The results have been very positive: not only do most Windows XP-compatible applications and games work just fine under Windows 7, many pre-Windows 7 games also integrate automatically into Windows 7’s new Games Explorer as well. Unless it’s a very new game designed specifically for Windows 7, you won’t get performance information as you do with built-in games, but the game’s Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) rating is enough to enable parents to lock kids out of objectionable video games using Windows 7’s parental-control features. It’s a nice touch.

If you’re coming from Windows Vista, the extra performance boost you get from simply migrating to Windows 7 is astonishing. No, Windows 7 doesn’t offer the same raw performance as does Windows XP. But it’s close. And it’s much faster than Windows Vista. Much faster.

The biggest software-compatibility issues you’re going to see in Windows 7 will involve very old applications that use 16-bit installers, and classes of applications—especially antivirus, antispyware, and other security solutions—that need to be rewritten to work within Windows 7’s new security controls. Security vendors will fix their wares, no doubt about it. But what about 16-bit applications and other software that just won’t run under Windows 7? Surprise. Microsoft has an answer. It’s called XP Mode.

Source of Information : Wiley Windows 7 Secrets (2009)

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