How to Get Started Testing, Publicizing Your Applications on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

38DF6AB1-13D4-409C-966D-CBE61F040027 ISVs wants to show the world you’re ready for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft offers several tools and ways to get the word out. What are they?

If you have a Web application, you should be testing under Windows Server 2008 R2. If you have a Windows client application, you should be testing under Windows 7.

You can test your existing applications. We have found that nearly all Vista-compatible applications are compatible with Windows 7. And those that work with Windows Server 2008 are nearly always compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2.

For more information about the requirements to be compatible, see Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Application Quality Cookbook: A Developer’s Guide to Application Compatibility, Reliability, and Performance.

The steps are:

  1. Get the Windows release candidate (RC)
  2. Test so you are confident you can support your customers
  3. Publicize that your application is compatible
  4. Light up you application with the new features

For testing, you can choose to self test or to earn the Compatible with Windows 7 logo. Either way, you can publish your results on Microsoft sites to show your compatibility.

In addition, we’ll be announcing a program where you can earn additional marketing benefits. Any work you do now, will prepare you for this great program.

Get Windows RC

To download Windows 7 release candidate, see Windows 7 Release Candidate: Download instructions. To download Windows Server 2008 R2, see Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate download.

Self Test

You can Get Started by registering with This allows you to track your progress and quickly get to the right resources. Depending upon your application readiness, we’ll direct you to the appropriate resources:

  • Not Compatible – You’ll get access to simple step by step guides for testing your applications compatibility, as well as support resources that can help you solve problems.
  • Compatible – You can list your solution in Microsoft’s worldwide catalogs and access customizable marketing templates for emails, business letters, direct marketing postcards, press releases, and newsletters to help you get the word out quickly to your customers that your applications are compatible with Windows 7.

Once you register your applications, you’ll find resources, including access to the betas and tests for your software.

Compatible with Windows 7 Software Logo

Use the software logo test to check your software. ISVs report to me that it is a must easier process and no longer requires a third-part testing facility.

Windows-7-Client-Software-Logo-Program If you want to take your compatibility testing a step further, gain MSPP partner points, you can use the Microsoft Windows 7 Software Logo test. The logo will show your customers that you have performed tests to assure compatibility. For more information about the steps to take and how the logo program works, see Windows 7 Software Logo Toolkit Ready Now For Compatibility Tests. Some of my ISVs have completed the self test for Windows 7 the same day they received the toolkit and now display the Compatible with Windows 7 logo. Although the logo test is beta, once you complete the steps, you’ll be able to associate the logo with your qualifying products.

The process is straight-forward. Once you download and install the tool directly on a 64-bit machine or inside a 64-bit virtual machine that uses Windows 7, you a series of command lines while installing, running, and uninstalling your application. The tool generates a report and provides you with specific steps to be compatible.

The tool generates an XML file that you upload to the WinQual site. You sign some legal agreements. And within a few minutes, you can add the logo to your company site.

There are waiver processes for Windows 7 certification available too, should that be necessary.

Earn Partner Points

Once you have passed the Compatible with Windows 7 software logo test, you’ll be eligible for Microsoft Partner Program partner points. Use points to help qualify for Certified Partner and Gold Partner benefits. Those benefits include software licenses and developer tools you can use in your development efforts.


There are several ways to publicize your application.

List in the Windows Catalog

During the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 global launch time frame, Microsoft will publish a list of all the currently compatible and future compatible applications to help customers. This is a valuable opportunity to get your product listed on the Windows Compatibility Center or Windows Server Catalog and gain worldwide exposure. Signing up is quick and easy:

  • Visit the Partner Submission page to complete the Web form, or download a spreadsheet and submit it to us with your information. Be sure to opt-in to receive ongoing information about compatibility tools, resources and special promotion
  • Update your product status by returning to the Partner Submission page and re-submitting your information.
  • For more information about pledging your support, you can read the Windows Compatibility Center FAQ.
Register on

Once you determine that your application is compatible, you can register it online and receive marketing benefits. Register your application at

Tell us that your application is compatible with the latest Microsoft technologies and you’ll have access to marketing resources including directory listings, customizable marketing templates and press releases to help you get the message out to your customers.

Tell the World on Your Website

Add Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to the list of operating that you support on your website.

More Marketing Benefits

Once you announce your application will be ready for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, you’ll be able to receive additional benefits. I’ll announce those programs as soon as they are ready.

Any work you do now though will make it easier and faster to be part of the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 wave.

Free Tech Support

ISVs can now get free technical support for application compatibility issues with Windows 7. To get support, ISVs can post their problem on an MSDN Forum. This forum is monitored by CSS engineers who will respond to issues by e-mail.

For more information, see Application Compatibility for Windows Development.

‘Light up’ Your Application with Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 Features

You can incorporate key features into your Windows 7 application, such:

  • Taskbar
  • Libraries
  • Multi Touch
  • Sensors and Location
  • Ribbon
  • Trigger Start Services,
  • Instrumentation and ETW

Windows 7 RC Training Kit for Developers has been released part of our ongoing effort to enrich existing content and provide additional valuable content for the developer community. This version of the training kit includes 10 presentations and 8 Hand-On-Labs, covering most of the Windows 7 light-up features as well as application compatibility topics.

For more information about how you can take advantage of the features for your customers, see Walkthrough to Get Your Applications Ready for Windows 7 and How to Get Started Leveraging Windows Server 2008 R2 Features

To learn more about Windows 7 and how you can take advantage of the features, see See Windows 7 From a Developer Point of View in Videos.

Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation

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