The App Compat Guy

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  • Blog Post: ActiveX Sprayer: A Real World Adventure with Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer

    Before we released Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer 11, we ran a fairly large pilot program – we targeted 30 customers, and ended up with more than 90. But there’s still always the question – will we have, by chance alone, gotten unlucky and chosen a group of very non-representative customers? So...
  • Blog Post: Enterprise Conversations on Internet Explorer Support Changes

    We recently announced our plans to change the support status for Internet Explorer. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2014/08/07/stay-up-to-date-with-internet-explorer.aspx Since that time, I’ve been talking to a number of customers (at volumes ranging from rational discourse to aggravated yelling)...
  • Blog Post: The Impact to the Enterprise of Blocking Out of Date ActiveX Controls

    The push to get modern continues, and one big piece of news last week was our announcement that we are adding functionality to block really old versions of specific ActiveX controls, particularly Java. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2014/08/06/internet-explorer-begins-blocking-out-of-date-activex...
  • Blog Post: IE11 Enterprise Mode and Compatibility View are Additive, not Exclusive

    It’s been a busy couple of months in the world of app compat, so I’ve got a backlog of things to cover. Let’s start with an FAQ that I’ve gotten in nearly every conversation I’ve had about web app compat since April. On April 8, we introduced a feature called Enterprise Mode. This is a feature designed...
  • Blog Post: Another Chat with Richard on RunAs Radio

    For the past several years, I’ve been having an ongoing conversation with Richard Campbell on all kinds of technology related topics. (Heads up: we are nerds.) I’ve always loved talking to Richard, because he talks to a LOT of the world’s finest nerds, and he really cares passionately about learning...
  • Blog Post: Why Windows 8.1 Sometimes Tells You It Is Windows 8.0

    A few years back, I ran some analysis on the shims that were applied to applications (both for commercial applications in sysmain.sdb and for those applications shimmed in our enterprise engagements), and though VirtualRegistry eeked out a victory, if you were to consolidate the version lie shims, they...
  • Blog Post: Reporting Sites Which are Incompatible with IE11

    With Internet Explorer 11, we invested a lot in improving the overall compatibility of web sites. In my experience, the single biggest change we made was to the user agent string. The IE11 user agent string no longer contains the string MSIE . This has turned out to be terrific for sites which used to...
  • Blog Post: The Mathematics of Office Compatibility–Commenting on Converter Technologies’ Rebuttal

    It looks like, back in January, Converter Technologies decided to post a rebuttal to my July 2012 article on The Mathematics of Office Compatibility . So, apparently we’re having a conversation with a 6-month cadence! Well, 6 months is up so now it’s my turn again. :-) Apparently the folks at Converter...
  • Blog Post: Windows 8 App Compat on The Edge Show

    While at TechEd a few weeks ago, I had a chance to sit down with my friend Joey and chat about where we are with app compat, which was briefly before Windows 8.1 was released so we weren’t chatting too much about that yet. That recording is up on the web now as part of Edge Show 66 (no relationship to...
  • Blog Post: Update on the Weight Watchers Mobile Site on IE10

    Back in December, I blogged about the failure of Weight Watchers Mobile on IE10 , which affects peoples’ fancy new Windows Phone 8 devices, not to mention their Windows RT devices like the Surface RT. In the interim, I’ve disabled the compat view list on my Surface (there isn’t an option to do that on...
  • Blog Post: App Compat with Windows 8 Chat - December 7, 2012

    Just in time for the holidays, on December 7, 2012 (tomorrow as I write this), 1:00pm Central, I’ll be chatting with my friends from ChangeBase / Quest / Dell about the app compat landscape for Windows 8. You can join in the conversation here: http://www.quest.com/webcast/webcast-key-application-compatibility...
  • Blog Post: Defining Red, Amber, and Green (RAG) Statuses

    A few years ago, AppDNA and ChangeBase (listed alphabetically, so please don’t infer anything from the ordering, though they are also sorted by the capacity of their original CTOs to consume gin and tonics – I won’t say if that is ascending or descending) came along and fundamentally redefined the language...
  • Blog Post: New Windows 8 Springboard App Compat Content

    My blog sure has been quiet lately, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing anything! A lot of my focus has been on laying the groundwork for a refreshed set of app compat content for Windows 8, to put up on the Springboard site. Well, it’s finally live, so here is the writing that hasn’t gone up...
  • Blog Post: Sessions at TechEd North America

    Greetings, App Compat Army! I’m busy putting the final touches on my presentations for TechEd North America, and wanted to give a quick overview of what I’m going to be covering: WCL204 – Removing the Shackles of Legacy Software: Best Practices for Enabling Platform Agility in the Enterprise Monday,...
  • Blog Post: How Do I Stop Upgrades to IE9?

    Moving people off of older browsers onto newer ones is something we have been pushing hard for at Microsoft. The latest version of IE is significantly more secure than older ones, and way more interoperable. (Who really wants to develop 2 websites when they really only want one – one for some crusty...
  • Blog Post: Managing the Windows 7 Program Compatibility Assistant (PCA)

    I wanted to document a bit of detail about managing the Program Compatibility Assistant, a bit of technology we added for Windows Vista and have been enhancing since that time – I figured it was probably time that we came out with an update for Windows 7. What motivated this was a series of...
  • Blog Post: App Compat Sessions at TechEd Australia 2011

    For those of you attending TechEd Australia, if you are interested in application compatibility, there are two sessions you won’t want to miss tomorrow (September 1, 2011): Troubleshooting Application Compatibility Issues with Windows Internet Explorer 9 When your website doesn’t work with a new browser...
  • Blog Post: TechNet Magazine Article Published - Internet Explorer 9 : Accelerate Enterprise Application Compatibility

    In my ongoing efforts to clear out all of the low hanging fruit and leave behind all of the fun, gnarly, nerdy problems, my latest article on TechNet Magazine was just published. This one addresses Internet Explorer 9 application compatibility, and avoids much of the nerdy stuff I normally focus on to...
  • Blog Post: All of the Nerdy Details on Internet Explorer 9 Application Compatibility

    We recently announced that Internet Explorer 9 will be available starting Monday, March 14 . Naturally, if you are a geek (which, statistically speaking, is true for a fairly large percentage of folks who happen to be reading my blog), you are asking yourself, “where are all of the nerdy details about...
  • Blog Post: When Should I Use Compatibility View in Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 for the Enterprise?

    One of the most common questions I get while working with enterprise customers is: should I leave Compatibility View turned on for the Local Intranet zone? We have an awful lot of guidance that seems to be pushing for standards, standards, standards everywhere, and this has a tendency to get customers...
  • Blog Post: Fixing the “Failed to Load Log File” Error in Standard User Analyzer

    From time to time, I get an email about Standard User Analyzer that includes a screenshot or a MessageBox text copy (you do know you can control-c a MessageBox and paste just the text, right?) that looks something like this: Failed to load log file c:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\Temp\1\sua...
  • Blog Post: Debugging a CSS Issue with IE9: Mötley Crüe Edition

    If you want to master app compat debugging, then I really only know of one approach: practice. Find things that are broken, and then find out why. If you have to look too far for something broken, then you must be significantly luckier than I am! Now, I prefer to listen to Mötley Crüe when I debug (or...
  • Blog Post: How to Address Session Sharing Application Compatibility Challenges with Internet Explorer 8

    When considering application compatibility, it turns out that there are a number of differences between the biggest challenges affecting Internet-facing public websites and the biggest challenges affecting web applications run in the enterprise. One change between Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 Application Compatibility List FAQ

    Last week, we updated the Windows 7 Application Compatibility List for IT Professionals on our download site. It has been a while since we have done this (April, I believe) and I know a lot of people were looking for an update. The newest iteration includes data from 17 markets, and being more global...
  • Blog Post: Shims – Are They Really Such Nasty Bits?

    I wanted to post a response to what I consider to be somewhat suboptimal advice, with the hopes of correcting it. In recorded history, there have been a number of classic blunders when it comes to advice. They include: “ Hey, let’s start a land war in Asia! ” “ I really think you should buy the Betamax...
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