I have recently written a lot of articles about Microsoft’s new Operating System, Windows Vista. My articles have ranged from the different versions of Vista that Microsoft has developed and now offers, to the internal workings of Vista’s security. I have been fairly fortunate to have had a decent experience with Vista and its features until I recently ran into some compatibly issues with legacy applications. My definition of legacy applications is any application that was wrote and published prior to the Vista platform and SDK’s (Software Development Kits) being introduced to the developers of all of the applications currently being developed and marketed.
At this point in time, I can honestly say that Microsoft has been very forth coming on expressing their known issues with certain applications or games since the release of Vista a few months back. They have explained that the issues that legacy applications being installed can cause are issues such as primary functions not working in the installed application or in other applications that share the same core operating system files that may now have been over written by the legacy applications installations, they also state that legacy applications may also cause system instability.
One of the main Windows application compatibility issues is with the Microsoft UAC (User Access Control). The UAC has been causing issues with applications that do NOT have an installer program packaged with them. The new desktop security feature, UAC, basically simplifies desktop security so that the end user does not have to have a Security Degree to ensure that they are protected from malicious operating system attacks or exploits.
Windows Vista Application Compatibility, Or Lack There Of!
By design, and most practical usage, the UAC seems to be a good idea and is definitely the right step for Microsoft to take to move into the market for better desktop security. The UAC works as this, there is a 4 tiered system that will stop ALL system usage and make the end user allow or disallow an application or service that is attempting to install and use resources that MAY be vital to continue successfully running the operating system.
The 4 tiers are based on a color code that ranges from Grey, to Blue, to Orange and then to Red. The colors are to identify the severity or Microsoft’s lack of knowledge of the application being installed. If the application comes up Red, it does not necessarily mean it’s bad, it just means that the application may not be signed by Microsoft’s Software Signature, and is attempting to access some pretty important core system files.
The colored screens are basically letting the user know that something is about to change that may cause Windows to become unstable, corrupt or inoperable. This is only bad if the application being installed is NOT a desired application that the user wants. Now understand that when you first get your new Vista operating system, and you are installing all of your applications, you may see this warning a lot, but you will not have to KEEP approving this warning for any application more than once if you have accepted it with the current user already.
Certain programs use multiple executables to function, so you may have to accept the UAC multiple times for one application at first, but once all executables have been approved, you should not see the UAC for that application again. Now, were the problem lies with the UAC for applications that do NOT have an installer package, is that they are looked at by the Operating System as a NEW program every time they are executed. Which means the UAC may not allow them to run because of the lack of administrative or user privileges. Now if you are having issues running an application of this type, there seems to be a simple fix for it, you can simply Right-Click the executable and choose the option to Run as Administrator and the application should then run with full functionality.
I have yet to see many other workarounds, but if there are any, I would appreciate it if users would post a comment to assist myself and other users reading this blog. Microsoft had been VERY open about the applications that would not run on Windows XP SP2, and had published list of these applications for end users to be aware of, and to communicate to the software designers the issues so that the applications would then become SP2 compatible. Microsoft has not currently published any list of known apps that do not work, but they have come out with a Vista Application Compatibility Update. You can access this update at this location: MS KB Article 929427.
This update improves support in Windows Vista for the following applications:
|•||IBM Rescue and Recovery with Rapid Restore 3.00|
|•||Rosetta Stone 2.1.3|
|•||MS Encarta Standard 2007|
|•||Family Feud Online|
|•||Crystal Player Professional 1.97|
|•||Total Commander 6.55|
|•||SonyFeliCa Port (PaSoRi) 22.214.171.124|
|•||Label Mighty 6|
|•||AVG Anti-Spyware 126.96.36.199|
|•||Lego Star Wars|
|•||HD Tach 3|
|•||Adobe Photoshop Elements Version 4.0|
|•||Digital Zenkoku Map Townpage Database 7|
|•||Auslogics Disk 1.0.3|
|•||EasyRecovery Professional Version 6.04|
|•||Microsoft Money 2005|
|•||Microsoft Money 2006|
|•||Jv16 Power Tools|
|•||SG TCP Optimizer 2.0.3|
|•||Cyber link Power Cinema 4.0|
|•||Google desktop 4.2006.1008|
|•||Roxio Easy Media Creator 7.5|
|•||Premiere Elements 3|
|•||Battlefield 2 Deluxe|
|•||Palm Desktop 6.0|
|•||Digital ImageSuite 2006|
|•||Flight Simulator X|
|•||SmartSuite Millennium Edition – Freelance Graphics 9.8|
|•||BitVise Tunnelier 4.20|
|•||Java Control Panel|
|•||HD Tune 2.5.1|
|•||BeatJam 2006 SE|
|•||Adobe Photoshop CS 8.0|
|•||Arcsoft Photo Impression 5|
|•||J2SE Runtime Environment 5.0 Update 9|
|•||AOL 9.0 – x64|
|•||The Weather Channel Desktop 5.0.1|
|•||Absolute Poker Version 5.7|
|•||Delphi 7 Professional|
|•||TweakNow PowerPack 2006|
|•||Office 2003 Web Folders|
|•||Ulead DVD MovieFactory 5 Plus|
|•||Virtual CD 8|
|•||Fireworks MX2004 188.8.131.525|
|•||Doranet Kids Nyugaku Jyunbi Taikenban|
|•||Doranet Shogaku Ichinensei Taikenban|
|•||Minna de TV Denwa Starter|
|•||Power Utility – Remote administration 184.108.40.206|
|•||MotionDV STUDIO 5.8J for FUJITSU|
|•||Minna de TV Phone Starter 220.127.116.11|
|•||ColdFusion MX 7 Enterprise Edition|
|•||Age of Empires III|
|•||Age of Empires III : The WarChiefs Expansion Pack|
|•||Zoo Tycoon 2|
|•||Zoo Tycoon 2: African Adventure Expansion Pack|
|•||Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species Expansion Pack|
|•||Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania Expansion Pack|
|•||Zoo Tycoon 2: Zookeeper Collection Expansion Pack|
|•||Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends|
|•||Fable: The Lost Chapters|
|•||Dungeon Siege II|
|•||Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna|
I will be putting together the most comprehensive list of the Works, and Doesn’t Work software on the market that I can come up with in my next article. If any readers can post any information on any application that they have had success / failure with for us that would be great. Also, if you can maybe go into depths as to why you are positive of the success / failure rate then that would be very helpful , so that maybe we can all try and put our heads together for possible workarounds to get you’re purchased applications running. Until then, take care, and please post if you have any questions.
Richard Correa, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCDBA
Senior Network Engineer / Lead Web Developer
DTIData DTI Networks
Office :: 727.345.9665 ext.206