Windows 7 Application Compatibility in education

A last week I wrote “Windows 7 is getting closer”, and one of the readers on the Universities blog posed the question about Application Compatibility – their point was that they used over 450 applications, so couldn’t we test them all to check they work on Windows 7. (I’m wondering if 450 applications is a record – do schools use that many?) Hopefully it’s no surprise to learn that we can’t do all of that, but that there’s been a big focus on overall application compatibility in Windows 7 – back to both Windows Vista and Windows XP.

Later today, Mark Russinovich is hosting a worldwide roundtable on Application Compability that you might want to join in. As it is a single event for the whole world, it is at 7pm our time tonight, but I’ve had a look at the telly schedule and there’s nothing exciting on (thank goodness Britain’s Got Talent has finished – for so many reasons!).

Here’s the blurb:


“Windows 7 is approaching fast and from the application standpoint is very similar to Windows Vista. We’re going to examine Windows 7 application compatibility not only from the perspective of moving from Windows Vista, but also for those coming from Windows XP. Join us to discuss the most common challenges around application compatibility when coming from a legacy operating system, why changes were made along the way, compatibility technologies inside the OS and methods for getting incompatible applications to run on Windows 7. Along the way we share tips and tricks, demonstrate free tools to analyze and fix applications and answer your specific questions about application compatibility live.”

You can attend using this link – just logon a few minutes before 7pm:

As part of the “virtual” experience, you may submit your questions about Windows 7 Application Compatibility to the panel live during the event—or submit questions in advance to

Comments (3)

  1. If you want to see some of the trouble Microsoft goes to to ensure application compatibility you should read Raymond Chen’s blog at

  2. Jackye says:

    I got an email today from my TAM with a link to this article.  I appreciate you putting up the recording.  

    We counted the number of applications in use at one of our schools when making the move from Windows 9.x to Windows 2000 and found over 600.  One thing in education, many books come with software specific to the book.  It really adds up quick!  

  3. Ray Fleming says:

    Hi Jackye,

    Thanks for the comment – I think you highlight the dispersed nature of education software, and the desire by any teacher to use any bit of software they can.

    I was visiting a school recently where a D&T teacher had just spent some time trying to persuade the IT team that they really needed a very specific bit of D&T software. Even though they only had one licence. And even though this software was only available on a floppy disk labelled for Windows 3.1.

    The only way it was resolved was by the network manager pointing out that the school didn’t have any computers with floppy disks in them anymore!