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WINDOWS TIPS

Will my programs work on Windows Vista?

Will my programs work on Windows Vista?

So you’ve got a whole bunch of programs on your Windows XP machine—Quicken, Madden NFL 07, Microsoft Office, etc. There weren’t many problems moving software from Windows 2000 to Windows XP because those two versions were pretty similar at the gut level. Windows Vista is a big change in architecture so it’s a bigger question this time. Generally, if the program is a Microsoft program, you shouldn’t have any problems.

For non-Microsoft software, Windows Vista includes a Program Compatibility Wizard. When you try and install software on Windows Vista, you can run this wizard and it’ll tell you whether it runs natively or not. It can also make changes to allow the program to run as it would have run under Windows XP if it can’t run smoothly in Windows Vista—pretty sweet feature, though it may make the software run a little slower. If you’re looking for total native Windows Vista compatibility, just check on the software maker’s Web site. They’ll announce when they’re fully compatible with Windows Vista, don’t you worry.

Some programs definitely will have trouble. Anti-virus, for one. If you’ve got a Windows XP version of Symantec Norton Anti-Virus, for instance, it will definitely not run on Windows Vista. Personal firewall programs, like ZoneAlarm, most likely won’t either. You’ll need to get a Windows Vista compatible upgrade for those—fortunately, most of the premium versions of Windows Vista already have the OneCare anti-virus app and the improved Windows Vista firewall installed, so you’re not defenseless out of the box. Just remember that OneCare isn’t free; you’ll pay an annual subscription cost just like you would any other anti-virus software.


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