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Article ID: 933305 - Last Review: March 19, 2013 - Revision: 16.0

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INTRODUCTION

This article contains information to help you select programs that are compatible with Windows Vista. This article discusses the following topics:
  • Determine whether your computer can run Windows Vista
  • How to find Windows-compatible programs
  • Find programs that are officially supported on Windows Vista
  • Find programs that have earned the "Certified for Windows Vista" logo
  • Find programs that have earned the "Works with Windows Vista" logo
  • Enable older programs to run in Windows Vista
  • Use Microsoft ACT to help you deploy Windows Vista
  • Learn more about the Windows Logo Program for independent software vendors
Although most of the information in this article is intended for an intermediate computer user, some information is intended for an advanced computer user.

More information

Determine whether your computer can run Windows Vista

If you are considering upgrading your computer to Windows Vista, you can use the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor to help determine whether your computer is ready for the version of Windows Vista that you want.

For more information about how to download and install the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradeadvisor.mspx (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradeadvisor.mspx)

How to find Windows-compatible programs

Know what works. The Windows Vista Compatibility Center is a Web site that has the compatibility status on thousands of applications and hardware products so you can upgrade to Windows Vista with confidence. Find links to the latest drivers and software upgrades and leave feedback on your experience. For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Windows Vista Compatibility Center (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/windows-vista/default.aspx)

Find programs that are officially supported on Windows Vista

Programs that have earned the "Certified for Windows Vista" logo or the "Works with Windows Vista" logo are officially supported on Windows Vista by our independent software vendor (ISV) partners. The "Certified for Windows Vista" logo identifies products that are designed and tested to deliver a superior experience with Windows Vista. The "Works with Windows Vista" logo lets you know which software and devices offer baseline compatibility with Windows Vista.

Note There are many programs that are compatible and work well with Windows Vista, but that are not included in the Web sites listed in following two sections. Some programs are not included because they have not yet gone through the Windows Vista logo program, or because they are still completing the program. New programs are continually being added to the program.

Find programs that have earned the "Certified for Windows Vista" logo

The "Certified for Windows Vista" logo is a compatibility designation for programs and devices that have passed a rigorous testing program on computers that are running Windows Vista. The technical requirements for this designation target four core areas: reliability, security, compatibility with Windows Vista and future operating systems, and installation and removal.

Enable older programs to run in Windows Vista

Most programs that are written for Windows XP also work in Windows Vista. However, some older programs might run poorly or might not run at all. You can run programs that were written for earlier versions of Windows by using the program compatibility mode. If an older program does not run correctly, start the Program Compatibility Wizard to simulate earlier versions of Windows.

For more information about program compatibility, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-us/Help/bf416877-c83f-4476-a3da-8ec98dcf5f101033.mspx (http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-us/Help/bf416877-c83f-4476-a3da-8ec98dcf5f101033.mspx)

Use Microsoft ACT to help you deploy Windows Vista

Note This section is intended for an advanced computer user.

The Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.0 is a life-cycle management tool that assists in identifying and managing your overall application portfolio, reducing the cost and time involved in resolving application compatibility issues, and helping you quickly deploy Windows Vista and Windows Updates.

For more information about how to download and install the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/aa905102.aspx (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/aa905102.aspx)
If you have a software program that is not Windows Vista-compatible, you still may be able to make it run on Windows Vista by using the individual program's Compatibility tab. If that does not work, try one of the following resources. For more information about how to troubleshoot program compatibility, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
931362  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931362/ ) Advanced methods to troubleshoot a program that does not run as expected after it is installed on Windows Vista
931360  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931360/ ) How to troubleshoot program-incompatibility issues that may stop the Windows Vista Setup program

Learn more about the Windows Logo Program for independent software vendors

If you are an independent software vendor (ISV) and are interested in learning more about the "Certified for Windows Vista" and "Works with Windows Vista" logo programs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/winlogo/WLP30program.mspx (http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/winlogo/WLP30program.mspx)
If you are interested in finding easy ways for your existing programs to work on Windows Vista and achieve the "Works with Windows Vista" designation, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/aa904987.aspx (http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/aa904987.aspx)

References

For more information about how to troubleshoot program compatibility, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
931361  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931361/ ) How to troubleshoot issues that may prevent a program from being installed correctly on a Windows Vista-based computer
927386  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927386/ ) How to troubleshoot program compatibility issues in Windows Vista
931359  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931359/ ) How to determine whether there are program-compatibility issues before you install Windows Vista
Note If you still have program-incompatibility problems, you might want to ask someone for help or contact Support. For information about how to contact Support, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/ (http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/)
If you are searching for information about AVG Anti-Virus compatibility with Windows Vista, please visit the AVG product Web site.

To see the Windows 7 Compatibility Center, visit the following Microsoft Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/windows-7/default.aspx (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/win7/CompatCenter/Home?Language=en-US)

 For information about Windows 7 Logo'd list, visit the following Microsoft Web site:  Logo'd Products List (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/hh801892.aspx)

Applies to
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Starter
Keywords: 
kbresolve kbappcompatibility kb3rdpartysoftware kbtshoot kbinterop kbexpertisebeginner kbinfo KB933305
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