Has Windows 8 Pro improved compatibility with older Windows software over time?

Hossam E July 19, 2013

A lot of people have told me that Windows 8 is not compatible with a lot of programs, games and so on.

I self-tested the Consumer Preview and the one that came after. Some games didn’t work and I was wondering whether to expect a fix for these older compatibility issues. I am afraid to get Windows 8 Pro and then find many of the games I want to play do not work on it.

So, how is Windows 8 and compatibility with games and software written for XP, Vista and 7 after 8.1?

  1. Justin Pot
    July 19, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    I'm going to add my voice here and say that, if it's not working now, it's probably not ever going to work. I wonder how long it's going to take until "Wine For Windows" becomes relatively common...

    • Hossam E
      July 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      I don't know man I think microsoft have the power to make windows 8 have same compatibility like windows 7 but are so lazy -_-

    • Hossam E
      July 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      And thanks all for fast replies :D

    • Justin Pot
      July 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      I find responding to questions here fun, and it gives me ideas for writing about on the main blog.

      Microsoft probably could build in that backwards compatibility, but they want people to switch to Metro apps long-term. So it's not only not a priority – not doing it is actually part of their strategy. Kind of evil, but hey: it's Microsoft.

  2. Alan W
    July 19, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Install it as a dual boot until you are fully happy that everything you want to work - does.

    • Hossam E
      July 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      ummm I don't like the dual boot cause every time I need to fully format the hard drive (local disk) that the windows on and hate redownloading all my programs and I dont have any external drives to backup on them :/

  3. Hovsep A
    July 19, 2013 at 8:17 am

    you can use virtual software to install windows 8 in it and then try your games/application there, once you are happy with you can install windows 8 normally.

    if developers stopped fixing their soft better to not install on windows 8

    • Hossam E
      July 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      I tried before to put windows 7 in a virtual machine the game didn't work however I have the same windows 7 working on :P
      I think the issue of that was that the game allows only one connection per IP or my computer requirements is low to get them both work so am gonna upgrade in a right meaning get a new PC but selecting its parts
      I would like to hear your opinion on them
      am gonna get an i7 3770K 3.5Ghz
      and the gigabyte sniper 3 motherboard & 8gb ram 1600mhz
      VGA is AMD RADEON HD 7970 gigabyte OC
      PSU 700w
      and I will get a case for them with 7 fans however the VGA have 3 and the mother board have 5 :P
      i think that's all is it good to get the upcoming games working
      I will buy more ram but after some time I will get another 8 to make them 16

  4. Dalsan M
    July 19, 2013 at 3:47 am

    Even though many have had issues with software and games running on Windows 8, I was able to install almost all of my software that worked on XP, Vista, and 7, though I ran into quite a few issues. I had to modify installations and change permissions in order for some games (Grand Theft Auto IV) and other software to actually be able to install and run. Most software and games will work in Windows 8, just need to change some permissions and run the installation file or software as administrator. It won't be fully compatible without some work, and I'm not sure if it will become easier. I just know that I have to try multiple ways for installing some software until I find a way that works. If you wish not to have to go through with the headaches, then stick to Windows 7. Windows 8.1 I have not tried, and not sure if it will be any better in Windows 9

    • Hossam E
      July 20, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      yeah I think windows 7 is the most compatible windows with every thing nowadays

  5. Bruce E
    July 19, 2013 at 3:44 am

    If programs written for XP don't work now, they probably will not in the future either. It can go either way for programs written for Vista and 7. Microsoft's current vision is moving everything possible to the "Modern" UI which means that their support of desktop applications is not a high priority any longer. I would imagine that this is one of the major factors that keeps businesses that are readying for their next desktop migration from taking the plunge with Win8 for their next desktop OS since many of their LOB applications no longer work as well and would require major retooling (with associated expense) to make it function under 8.

    When it comes to games, it is not necessarily an issue with Microsoft, but more of an issue with how the games themselves were coded. For example, the original version of Red Alert ran like crap under Win7 because it was designed to run under XP but did not closely follow the Microsoft programming guidelines. It has since been rewriten to run under Vista & 7 (and will probably work without a hitch under Win8) - at least the version you get using an Origin code. Because of the shortcuts and workarounds they used to get better performance, when Microsoft made changes to improve the default security profile of the operating system, it broke the mechanisms the game coders were using to make their game perform better on the system. In most cases, if the programmers had followed Microsoft's programming guidelines in the first place, it would not have introduced these incompatibilities.

    Because of these types of issues, not only do you need to look at Microsoft for compatibility improvements, but also the application and game developers as well since it may be their fault that there are incompatibilities as well.

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