Windows Vista® and Windows Server® 2008 introduce the next-generation operating system technology and software development platform that will be used by application developers and enterprises worldwide. As part of enhancing the security and user experience of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, many new features have been introduced, and existing features have been improved.
While Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 are highly compatible with most of the applications written for Microsoft® Windows® XP, Microsoft Windows Server® 2003, and their service packs, some compatibility breaks are inevitable due to new innovations, security tightening, and increased reliability. Overall, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 compatibility is high, and Microsoft is continuously striving to achieve the best possible compatibility solutions for existing applications for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.
This document is the first step for application developers to become familiar with how to verify the compatibility of their applications. This document also provides an overview of the few known application incompatibility issues in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 and provides links to detailed white papers and other developer guidance.
There are several new features that will enable developers to troubleshoot and work around applications that do not function properly under Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Two such features are particularly useful:
The Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) compatibility mode allows an application to work as it did on Windows XP SP2. To run an application in this mode, right-click the application's executable file or icon and open the Properties property sheet. Click the Compatibility tab and select Run this program in compatibility mode for Windows XP (Service Pack 2).
Security restrictions enforced by User Account Control (UAC) might prevent applications that require administrative privileges from running properly, even if the user is a member of the Administrators group. To override UAC, a user with administrative privileges can run an application with elevated privileges by right-clicking the application's executable file or icon and clicking Run as administrator on the popup menu. The system displays a UAC dialog box, and the user can then click Allow to run the application with appropriate privileges.
All items in this document are appropriate for both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 unless otherwise noted. There are no architectural changes for Windows Vista SP1. Applications that are compatible with Windows Vista RTM should continue to be compatible with Windows Vista SP1.
Issues Relevant to Windows Vista
The following topics provide detailed information on how to test for and solve known application incompatibility issues in Windows Vista:
Issues Relevant to Windows Server 2008
The remainder of this document contains items that are applicable only to Windows Server 2008 and not to Windows Vista.