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Article ID: 953960 - Last Review: December 10, 2008 - Revision: 4.0

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INTRODUCTION

Windows Vista application compatibility updates are software updates that address common application compatibility issues in Windows Vista. Microsoft regularly releases Windows Vista application compatibility updates.

Note Windows Vista application compatibility updates are cumulative. Each update contains all the improvements that were included in the previous application compatibility updates.

To immediately install the latest application compatibility update, click Start
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Start button
, point to All Programs, and then click Windows Update. In the navigation pane, click Check for updates, and then follow the steps to install all recommended updates.

MORE INFORMATION

To obtain the latest Windows Vista application compatibility update, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Enable automatic updates (recommended)

Enable the automatic updates feature in Windows Vista. This is the recommended method to receive the latest updates. This method helps make sure that you always receive the latest updates.

To enable the automatic updates feature, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
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    Start button
    , point to All Programs, and then click Windows Update.
  2. In the navigation pane, click Change settings.
  3. Select the Windows automatic updates setting that you want.
  4. Click to select the Include recommended updates when downloading, installing, or notifying me about updates check box, and then click OK.

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    User Account Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password, or provide confirmation.

Method 2: Check for updates on Windows Update

Instead of receiving updates automatically, you can manually check for updates through Windows Update. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
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    Start button
    , point to All Programs, and then click Windows Update.
  2. In the navigation pane, click Check for updates.
  3. After Windows Update has finished checking for updates, click View available updates.
  4. Click to select the check boxes for the updates that you want to install, and then click Install.

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    User Account Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password, or provide confirmation.

Method 3: Download the Windows Vista application compatibility update from the Microsoft Download Center

The following files are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:

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Download
Download the Update for Windows Server 2008 package now. (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=09FCB718-154F-4EC8-B1AA-3DD24D65C002)

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Download
Download the Update for Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems package now. (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=FFF841CA-DACA-4047-A0DF-76C266CA0C8C)

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Download
Download the Update for Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition package now. (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=D7118BFF-A167-41CC-9B41-C6E7112F4B66)

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Download
Download the Update for Windows Vista package now. (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=6e108742-5abc-44e4-9b17-bb677e151013)

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Download
Download the Update for Windows Vista for x64-based Systems package now. ( http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=AC281079-C92D-4827-8409-4AC76EB87159 )

Release Date: December 2008

For more information about how to download Microsoft support files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
119591  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/119591/ ) How to obtain Microsoft support files from online services
Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.

Issues that are resolved by Windows Vista application compatibility updates

Windows Vista application compatibility updates resolve the following issues that you may experience when you try to install and run certain legacy games or applications in Windows Vista:
  • The game, the application, or the firmware is installed incorrectly.
  • The game, the application, or the firmware causes system instability.
  • The primary functions of the game, of the application, or of the firmware do not work correctly.

Changes in application behavior after you install the latest Windows Vista application compatibility update

After you install the latest Windows Vista application compatibility update, this update controls the behavior of certain applications to improve the performance of Windows Vista. The Windows Vista application compatibility update uses the following methods to control the behavior of applications:
  • Hard block

    This method applies a hard block on the application. A hard block prevents an application that is incompatible with Windows Vista from running on the computer.

    Note Microsoft applies hard blocks only on a non-Microsoft application when the manufacturer of the application gives its consent.
  • Soft block

    This method applies a soft block on the application. A soft block provides notification when an application that is incompatible with Windows Vista starts to run.
  • Shim update

    This method improves the performance of an application in Windows Vista.
The following table shows all the applications that are included in the latest Windows Vista application compatibility update and the behavior of the applications after you install the update.

Applications that are included in the December 2008 update

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ApplicationBehavior after you install the update
Windows Internet ExplorerUpdated to improve functionality
Microsoft Zune SoftwareHard blocked when you upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista
Kaspersky Internet Security or Anti-Virus versions up to version 7Hard blocked when you upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista

Applications that are included in the August 2008 update

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ApplicationBehavior after you install the update
Microsoft SQL Server 2005Updated to improve functionality
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5Updated to improve functionality
Saming One Key Recovery 5.0Hard blocked

Applications that are included in the May 2008 update

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ApplicationBehavior
The following builds of Webroot Spy Sweeper Consumer:
  • 5.3.1.2344 through 5.3.2.2368
  • 5.5.1.3172 through 5.5.1.3356
  • 5.5.7.48 through 5.5.7.122
Hard blocked
The following builds of Webroot Spy Sweeper Consumer Enterprise:
  • 3.0.2.1623 through 3.1.5.2246
  • 3.5.0.3189 through 3.5.0.3586
Hard blocked
RealVNC Ltd VNC Server Personal Edition 4Updated to improve performance
Microsoft Zune SoftwareHard blocked when you upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista
Microsoft Games ExplorerUpdated to improve performance
Sony Picture Package versions 1.0 through 1.8.1Hard blocked

Applications that are included in the December 2007 update

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ApplicationBehavior
Adobe Acrobat Reader versions 7.0 through 7.07 Soft blocked
WinAntivirus Pro 2007 v5.0.356Soft blocked
Webroot Software Spy Sweeper 5.0Hard blocked
Omniquad Total Security 2.0.3.0 Hard blocked
Windows Internet Explorer 7Updated to improve functionality

Applications that are included in the July 2007 update

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ApplicationBehavior
Deterministic Network Extender (DNE) Driver version 3.12.2Not available
Justsystems Ichitaro 2006 Not available
Microsoft Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties Expansion Pack Not available
Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Not available
Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Not available
Speedbit Download Accelerator Plus (DAP) 8.1.5.6 Not available
WinRaR versions 3.5 through 3.7 Not available
Yahoo AutoUpdater 8.1.0.249 Not available

Applications that are included in the March 2007 update

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ApplicationBehavior
Lenovo Presentation Director 1.0.0.1 Not available
ACDSee 8 Not available
Trend Micro Internet Security 2006 (PC-cillin) versions 14.0 through 14.59 Not available
Trend Micro Internet Security 2007 (PC-cillin) versions 15.0 through 15.19 Not available
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Administration Tools Pack Not available
RealNetworks RealPlayer 6.0.12 Not available
AOL Safety and Security Center 2.5.4.1 Not available
Toshiba Tecra M7 1.70 Not available

Applications that are included in the January 2007 update

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ApplicationBehavior
IBM Rescue and Recovery with Rapid Restore 3.00 Not available
Rosetta Stone 2.1.3 Not available
MS Encarta Standard 2007 Not available
Family Feud Online Not available
Crystal Player Professional 1.97 Not available
Photoshop 7.0.1 Not available
Total Commander 6.55 Not available
Sony FeliCa Port (PaSoRi) 3.0.0.0 Not available
Label Mighty 6 Not available
AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5.0.47 Not available
Lego Star Wars Not available
HD Tach 3 Not available
Adobe Photoshop Elements Version 4.0 Not available
Digital Zenkoku Map Townpage Database 7 Not available
Auslogics Disk 1.0.3 Not available
EasyRecovery Professional Version 6.04 Not available
Microsoft Money 2005 Microsoft Money 2006 Not available
SmartInstall 2.16 Not available
Adobe Create Suite CS2 Not available
Jv16 Power Tools Not available
SG TCP Optimizer 2.0.3 Not available
Cyber link Power Cinema 4.0 Not available
Google desktop 4.2006.1008 Not available
Roxio Easy Media Creator 7.5 Not available
Premiere Elements 3 Not available
Battlefield 2 Deluxe Not available
Opera 9.02 Not available
Palm Desktop 6.0 Not available
Digital Image Suite 2006 Not available
Flight Simulator X Not available
SmartSuite Millennium Edition - Freelance Graphics 9.8 Not available
LimeWire 4.12 Not available
Point 5.3 Not available
BitVise Tunnelier 4.20 Not available
Java Control Panel Not available
ACDSee 8 Not available
Azureus 1.0 Not available
HD Tune 2.5.1 Not available
BeatJam 2006 SE Not available
ICHITARO 2006 Not available
Adobe Photoshop CS 8.0 Not available
Arcsoft Photo Impression 5 Not available
J2SE Runtime Environment 5.0 Update 9 Not available
AOL 9.0 - x64 DevStudio 9.0 Not available
The Weather Channel Desktop 5.0.1 Not available
Absolute Poker Version 5.7 Not available
BitLord 1.1.5.6 Not available
RealPlayer 6.0.12.1700 Not available
Speedfan 4.31 Not available
Delphi 7 Professional Not available
TweakNow PowerPack 2006 Not available
Office 2003 Web Folders Not available
Outlook 2003 Not available
Ulead DVD MovieFactory 5 Plus Not available
Virtual CD 8 Not available
Fireworks MX2004 7.0.2.295 Not available
Doranet Kids Nyugaku Jyunbi Taikenban Not available
Doranet Shogaku Ichinensei Taikenban Not available
Minna de TV Denwa Starter Not available
Power Utility - Remote administration 3.1.0.0 Not available
MotionDV STUDIO 5.8J for FUJITSU OmniPass 1.0.0.1 Not available
Minna de TV Phone Starter 2.1.0.1 Not available
ColdFusion MX 7 Enterprise Edition Not available
Age of Empires III Not available
Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs Expansion Pack Not available
Zoo Tycoon 2 Not available
Zoo Tycoon 2: African Adventure Expansion Pack Not available
Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species Expansion Pack Not available
Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania Expansion Pack Not available
Zoo Tycoon 2: Zookeeper Collection Expansion Pack Not available
Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends Not available
Fable: The Lost Chapters Not available
Dungeon Siege II Not available
Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna Not available

For more information about the previously released Windows Vista application compatibility updates, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
947562  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947562/ ) May 2008 Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Application Compatibility Update
954366  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/954366/ ) August 2008 Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Application Compatibility Update
947562  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947562/ ) May 2008 Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Application Compatibility Update
943302  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/943302/ ) December 2007 Windows Vista Application Compatibility Update
935280  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935280/ ) July 2007 Windows Vista Application Compatibility Update
932246  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932246/ ) March 2007 Windows Vista Application Compatibility Update
929427  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929427/ ) The Windows Vista Application Compatibility Update

How to troubleshoot application compatibility issues that are not resolved by the latest Windows Vista application compatibility update

After you install the latest Windows Vista application compatibility update, you may still experience application compatibility issues. To resolve these issues, use one or more of the following troubleshooting options in the order in which they are presented:
  • Restart the computer after you install the Windows Vista application compatibility update to allow for any additional process to be completed and for drivers to be loaded correctly. If the program still does not work, go to the next option.
  • Run the program in compatibility mode. When you select the compatibility mode option, Windows Vista emulates the selected operating system when you run that particular program. To run the program in compatibility mode, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start
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      Start button
      , type the name of the program in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
    2. In the Programs list, right-click the program name, and then click Properties.
    3. On the Compatibility tab, click to select the Run this program in compatibility mode for check box.
    4. In the list, select an operating system, and then click OK.

    If the program still does not work correctly, go to the next option.
  • Contact the program vendor or hardware manufacturer. If a program does not run in Windows Vista, or if a piece of hardware does not function as expected after you install Windows Vista, contact the program vendor or the hardware manufacturer for guidance about how to troubleshoot the issue. Typically, the software vendor Web site provides a support section that includes more information about compatibility.

    Frequently, the software vendor provides one of the following resolutions to resolve compatibility issues:
    • An update to make the current version of the program compatible with Windows Vista
    • A version of the program that is compatible with Windows Vista
    • Information about any configuration changes to make the program compatible with Windows Vista

For information about how to contact hardware and software vendors, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors (http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors)

Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, about the performance or reliability of these products.

APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Starter
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
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