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Windows 7 More Compatible

The success or failure of a new OS has way more to do with compatibility than it does with hot new features or smokin' performance. A lack of apps has given Linux on the desktop less market share than Moxie soda, and it was only after the Mac got real file interchange that it became truly viable for business.

That's why Microsoft is pulling out all the stops to help Windows 7 run as many programs as possible.

One approach is trying to make the OS itself compatible, which Microsoft has clearly worked toward. Next, you get ISVs to tweak or port apps. A third and rather unique effort is creating an XP virtual machine to let old apps run. Microsoft also has an application virtualization tool it acquired when it bought Softricity.

Finally, the latest build of Windows 7 has a few compatibility tricks; for one, it can detect an incompatible program and refuse to run it. Windows 7 also has an update that lets you run some apps that previously broke.

By the way, I want to thank reader Mike G. for helping me get my HP LaserJet 1000 hooked up via a virtual driver. With guys like Mike, I have a huge virtual IT department at my disposal. Now I'm 100 percent in business!

Posted by Doug Barney on September 28, 2009


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