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Let Application Compatibility Issues Hold Back YourWindows 7 Migration
Window 7 is the latest version of the Microsoft Windows operating system and is widely regarded as animportant upgrade for customers that are using Windows XP or Windows Vista. Many organizations areeither considering migration to Windows 7 in the next 12-18 months, or already have migration projectsin place. However, large portions of these organizations are finding that many of their applications arenot natively compatible with the new OS. In fact, recent studies have shown that most customers willexperience compatibility problems with as many as 50% of their applications. These problems rangefrom minor errors in functionality to complete inability to either install or run applications on Windows7.
The Root Causes Of Application Compatibility Issues
The leading causes of application compatibility issues with Windows 7 fall into three broad categories:
Internet Explorer conflicts
- Internet Explorer (IE) is different from other web browsers in that itis tightly coupled with the Windows OS. Due to the popularity and longevity of Windows 2000and Windows XP, many organizations have standardized on critical line-of-business applicationsthat rely heavily on older versions of Internet Explorer, especially Internet Explorer 6 and 7. Theproblem is that neither Internet Explorer 6 nor Internet Explorer 7 can be installed on Windows7, which in many cases prevents these applications from working on Windows 7.
System and component dependencies
- Windows 7 includes many changes to system-levelcomponents, which creates issues with applications that depend on older versions of thesecomponents. Good examples include Windows Media Player, Dot Net and the MicrosoftManagement Console (MMC), which are used by many applications. When these componentsare replaced with newer versions as part of an OS migration, applications that depended onthem may stop working. Worse still, because these dependencies are part of the OS, customerscannot simply deploy the old versions of the components on the new operating system.
Operating system security
- Windows 7 features a new security model which includes UserAccount Control (UAC) and changes to default user permissions. By default, applications that runon Windows 7 do not have write access to protected operating system directories such as theWindows folder and the Program Files folder, and cannot modify certain areas in the Registry. Inaddition, the recomm
ended way to use Windows 7 is by logging in as a “standard” user, rather
than a user with full administrative privileges. The problem is that many applications that werewritten for Windows XP were not designed to operate in a secure OS environment.