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Windows 7 Compatibility Problems? What Windows 7 Compatibility Problems?

Mary Jo Foley has a very interesting post in which she describes an interview she had with Microsoft regarding the results early adopters have seen with Windows 7. The news thus far is incredibly positive, but the spin here, of course, is around application compatibility. And according to Microsoft, this just isn't the big deal it used to be. Assuming you don't mind just getting rid of those pesky incompatible apps.

Microsoft is continuing to emphasize its "businesses should upgrade sooner rather than later" message with Windows 7 — and is using both carrots and sticks to push them to do so.

The latest attempt to convince customers comes in the form of take-aways Microsoft officials have uncovered and are sharing publicly from some of the early Windows 7 enterprise deployments. Norm Judah, the Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft Services (the group that encompasses Microsoft Consulting Services, consumer support and commercial support) discussed some of these learnings and offered advice during an interview I had with him on December 7.

While it’s pushing businesses to kick off deployment now, Microsoft isn’t suggesting enterprise users rush into things; in fact, Microsoft has been an advocate of measured, 12-month-plus evaluation, assessment, compatibility testing, deployment and training period.

“The assessment of compatibility is turning out to be the most interesting part” of the Windows 7 deployment process, said Judah, whose team is helping shepherd a number of companies through the process. “In some cases, the remedies (for compatibility problems) are fairly simple,” he said. (Microsoft provided, via a press release, an example of an unnamed European petrochemical company which was able to fix Windows 7 compatibility problems with more than 1,000 custom apps written in Visual Basic by changing a library module that was common to all of those apps.)

“There’s also the question as to whether customers really need an (incompatible) application,” Judah said. When performing an evaluation, customers have a chance to figure out which apps are worth taking the trouble to try to fix vs. which can be “discarded,” he said. Judah cited as an example of an app that might be discardable as Lotus Notes… And no, I’m not kidding.

Check out the full post for more information.

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