One of the main questions slowing me from upgrading to Windows 8 is backwards-compatibility. I have many programs from smaller companies that I know will not be able to come up with a windows 8-specific version for a long time, so will I be able to use Windows 7 versions on Windows 8?
According to Kevin Turner, Microsoft's COO said at the Worldwide Partner Conference 2011.“The gateway to get to Windows 8 is Windows 7, and we will have backward compatibility with Windows 7 embedded into Windows 8. That's something that we're very committed to. But that's a really important first pillar,”. So according to Microsoft answer is yes.