I may get a new PC soon. I've been using XP on many machines for years now and am nervous about changing operating systems. Windows 7 seems to be getting lots of good reviews, but I would still like to know what well known windows software (that works on XP) does not work with windows 7.

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    This question is a bit vague, and most likely will contain incorrect answers fastly. When writing a new answer, make it very precise, with the version number, and as much detail as possible. Compatibility issues, especially for well-known software, are likely to be solved in the coming months. – Gnoupi Nov 12 '09 at 13:49
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    possible duplicate: superuser.com/questions/12567/… – swamplord Nov 12 '09 at 14:34
  • in the age of virtualiazation this question is rather moot. you get pretty much ANYTHING to work, ANYWHERE. – Molly7244 Nov 12 '09 at 23:09
  • @Molly - I don't consider virtualization nearly the same as "working on ...". Many programs I know and use work "virtualized" under xp, but otherwise would surely fall under the category "would fail", for if it were not for virtualization they would certanly not work under any circumstances. – Rook Nov 13 '09 at 1:14
  • well, i do ... but everyone to their own :) – Molly7244 Nov 13 '09 at 1:26

Lotus Notes clients up to and including 8.0 don't work on Vista unless you turn UAC off completely (thus rendering your machine only as secure as XP at best). Given that UAC is not changed in it's fundamental principles in Windows 7, I expect this to remain largely the same.

v 8.1 of Notes client works on Vista with UAC on. Lotus Notes client issues on Vista

Visual Studio 2005 requires you to run as administrator with elevated permissions (so it should work, but ought not to require this level of priviledge)). Visual Studio 2005 requires elevation

Acrobat Pro v7 and 8 won't install the necessary printer driver on x64 versions of Windows (so you either get a newer version of Acrobat or you are stuck with 32 bit Windows 7). Adobe support page

It seems that v9 works properly with Windows 7, and you can get a NOT FREE upgrade to 9 from v6 thru 8. Only £173 in the UK at the moment. Bargain price to replace your broken software with a working version.

Threatcode has a list of software which requires admin rights (bad practice to start with), but more usefully the home page has a list of the sort of coding practices which might cause problems, not all of which are obvious to a non-developer (eg not supporting DEP properly, I would not have thought of that necessarily). This might help you spot issues with software you have, or give you the right information to ask your vendor about their support for Windows 7 and/or UAC and/or 64 bit editions.

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    How come I'm not surprised Lotus Notes is on the shame list? By the way, +1 for the list. – alex Nov 12 '09 at 13:05
  • Actually, even without UAC Vista still has some protection on \Windows – Phoshi Nov 15 '09 at 11:52
  • Yes, without UAC most system locations are still ACL protected to administrators only, but since many home users will have set up a single account and given it admin rights, this is no different from XP, which also had the same level of ACL protection for these locations. – AdamV Nov 15 '09 at 14:23

Poorly written well known software. The thing is, Windows 7 has no major changes to stop an app from correctly working. Most apps should be compatible without any code modifications. However, there are apps that break because they do things they should not do:

  • use private APIs that should not be used
  • check specifically for a certain version of Windows (Oracle did this with 10g, it only worked if you ran it in Compatibility mode). Right now, if an app checks that it's running in version 6, it might break if it's badly coded. Windows 7 is version 6.1.
  • While somewhat informative, this answer does not at all answer the question. – OverloadUT Nov 13 '09 at 0:13
  • Creating a comprehensive list of software that doesn't work with Windows 7 is very hard and it becomes obsolete almost instantly. So I decided to answer why software fails, not what software fails. – alex Nov 13 '09 at 5:30

The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor should inform you of any well-known software that you're currently running that has compatibility issues. It identified Daemon Tools and IntelliType/IntelliMouse for me.

  • Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor is surprisingly useful AFTER you have installed the OS. – Guy Thomas Nov 12 '09 at 15:58

StarCraft and Worms Armageddon have colors problems. Yes, I know, they are really old applications (ten years or more), but they are so great. :)


I had problems with the following software after I've upgraded to Windows 7 64-bit:

  • Babylon Pro (It's automatically starting with Windows but shutting down itself after a while, so I have to restart it periodically)

Besides, I had a hardware problem after the upgrade. The question and solution are on this SU page.

All my other software which work fine on XP also work fine on Win7.

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    Don't list programs, if you say that they "work fine now", they have nothing to do here. – Gnoupi Nov 12 '09 at 13:51
  • @Gnoupi: Here you are. – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Nov 12 '09 at 14:55

I would add two factor to the debate

1) For reluctant programs you could download an XP Virtual Machine for Windows 7, I believe that this called Windows XP Mode.

2) This is only available for the top 3 editions: Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate.

My point is having Windows XP mode will increase the number of compatible 3rd party programs. Frankly, I cannot see why a program that ran under XP won't run in Windows XP mode, but then I am naive about compatibility.

  • Older DOS applications that could be made full-screen under XP can't under XP Mode. – Scott Nov 12 '09 at 22:59
  • Also, XP Mode requires that your processor and BIOS support virtualization. Many do, but there are some that don't and some horror stories where the processor supports the feature but the PC vendor disables the functionality (Sony comes to mind) with no workaround. – Jason R. Coombs Nov 12 '09 at 23:03

I couldn't get Symantec Endpoint 11 to install with the 64-bit version of Windows 7, but I might have an old version of Endpoint.

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