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With the imminent release of Windows 7, Microsoft is being very careful to make sure that nothing goes wrong.

One of the biggest problems when Vista launched in 2006 was that there was very little driver support and many programs that worked fine on XP, didn’t work at all in Vista.

To ensure that Window 7 doesn’t suffer the same problem, the new operating system will be fully backwards compatible with windows vista and XP.  According to Microsoft, if you have a program that works in either, it will work in Windows 7.  They have achieved this is two ways. 

As far as programs written for Vista are concerned, there shouldn’t be any compatibility issues at all since Windows 7 is based on the Vista kernel.  When it comes to XP, Microsoft has guaranteed that all XP programs will also work with Windows 7, although not right out of the box.

If you need to run something in XP compatibility mode, you will need to download and install a separate piece of software called VirtualPC, offered for free from the Microsoft website. Virtual PC runs silently in the background when an XP program is opened. To the user, it seems like you are running Windows 7 but in reality, the program has been opened within Virtual PC making the PC think its running on Windows XP.

It is good to see Microsoft making moves to try and improve their image after all the controversy surrounding Vista.  Here’s hoping that Windows 7 proves to be the operating system we were all hoping Vista would be.

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