Monday, 9 March 2009

The Windows 7 Engineering guys are doing a superb job right now. My own experiences coupled with the feedback I am getting, is that with respect to Application Compatibility Windows 7 compatibility is "better" than Vista. 

I was trying to explain the situation to a colleage about the "Windows 7 Compatibility" story and I used the analogy, "that application compatibility with Windows 7 today is like what Windows Vista experiened 18 months after it's release". There are going to be a few "gotcha's" out there (who is using Microsoft Agent anymore?) but generally the Microsoft partner and ISV eco-system is gearing up for the release of Windows 7 rather than "waiting and see" what the final release candidate will look like. This can only be a good thing.

However, I was a  little concerned by a recent posting by the Engineering Windows 7 team blog (found here:

There is a posting on Application Compatibility testing that raised a few eyebrows within our group. The posting in question is located here:

And, the content in question is the list of applications that was tested for application compatibility. Here is a brief (non-exhaustive) list reproduced from the site; 

  • orwegian1Visma Avendo FaktureringPolish2
  • WF-Fakturka dla Windows
  • Nahlik eTeacher 5
  • Portugese1Mr. Escola Win PortSpanish3
  • Mexico Federal Taxes Simplified SAT: Individual Taxes
  • Monografias Spanglish
  • IKEA Home Kitchen Planner
  • Turkish1MYTR Filter 2.6

Now, to be fair the blog entry was intending to demonstrate some of the international applications that were included in the application compatiblity testing program for Windows 7.  This is all good stuff.

However, when you look at the titles, you see a distinct consumer bent to the applications. This could be just the small sample size of the blog posting (maybe Microsot tests 1000's of applications) but it does look like these are some of these applications are the easier titles to obtain (either cheap, easily downloadable or trial versions). 

What's missing? Some hard-core applications that are present on just about every desktop? Examples include; AutoCAD for the Engineering sector, Bloomberg and Reuters for Banking, SAP for the the Finance groups.  

From this admittedly small sample size, I have a few questions;

  • Just how big is Microsoft's application compatibility software purchasing plan?
  • Does it cover enterprise applications
  • How may applications are included in this list?
  • Is there an ecosystem or Partner program that ISV's can join to include their applications in this testing effort?
Just as a bit of a boot note, I wanted to find out a bit more about these applications and so I googled them and got the following result for WF-Fakturka dla Windows;

Is this the reason why this application was chosen? Easy to crack, easy to "app-compat". I am sure this is not the case.... 

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