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Jared Bienz (blog & Ch9), one of Microsoft’s ISV Architect Evangelists based out of Houston, created this basic guide to help ISV’s get compatible with Windows 7.

ISV Trend - So many ISV’s are worried that their customers will dump them for a competitor application that is compatible with Windows 7. To help mitigate the challenge, here’s some basic steps for supporting Windows 7.

Overview - These steps are intended to fit within your regular routine, and we hope that any extra effort would only require about 30 to 60 minutes of your time.

One of the biggest consumers of time will actually be spent creating a Windows 7 machine for your QA department (though Windows 7 only takes about 30 minutes to install and it can be virtual). Microsoft has tools to test your solution (part of the Logo Toolkit), but that step is entirely optional and it’s only offered to increase your testing coverage. If you would like to leverage it, it takes about 30 minutes to run after it’s been downloaded.

Small list of incompatibility between Windows Vista and Windows 7 - Here is a list of incompatibilities between Windows Vista and Windows 7. This list was a bit hard to locate since we have not seen any major incompatibilities in ISV’s applications. The one issue we have seen a few times is too narrow a version check in an installer, but the full list of differences can be found on MSDN under General Compatibility. Here’s a hyperlinked table of contents:

Steps to get compatible with Windows 7

Step 1: Get Windows 7

There are several ways to get a copy of Windows 7, and MSDN and TechNet customers can download the RTM bits today. If you don’t have MSDN or TechNet you can start with the Release Candidate and Windows 7 will be on store shelves in October.

Step 2: Test on Windows 7 in Your Next QA Pass

This part is easy. Windows 7 installs in less than 45 minutes and runs great in virtual environments. Just install your application, run your tests and uninstall your application the same as you would on Windows Vista. And if you want to increase your testing coverage, why not grab the free testing tool available in the Windows 7 Logo Toolkit? If your application passes these tests, you’ve already met most of the requirements for logo compatibility!

Step 3: Fix any Incompatibilities

Don’t worry! The vast majority of applications compatible with Windows Vista area already compatible with Windows 7. If you run on Vista, chances are your tests will pass with flying colors. And if not, we’re here to help. The Microsoft Front Runner program has engineers standing by to help resolve problems via phone and e-mail. We even have a field response team ready if the issue can’t be resolved remotely. Best of all, each of these resources are free to use!

Step 4: State Your Compatibility in Front Runner

Congratulations, you’re compatible! Now it’s time to share the good news with your customers and get some marketing benefits along the way. Just log into Front Runner and add or update your product information. When you mark your solution as compatible, your product will be added to the Compatibility Center and your marketing benefits will become available.

Step 5: Relax, and Enjoy the Benefits

You’ve earned it! Put those marketing dollars to good use. And while you’re at it, why not show you’re an early adopter by displaying the Front Runner logo?

Finally, relax! We’ll be here to assist you long after you’ve stated your support. If anything happens in the wild, we’ll be standing by to help.

Thanks for checking out this post!


Murray Gordon
ISV Architect Evangelist
Microsoft Corporation 
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Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2009 10:06 AM | Back to top

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