Notes on comments.
Welcome to our blog dedicated to the engineering of Microsoft Windows 7
This post continues the discussion of Compatibility testing from our test team. --Steven
In the previous blog post "Application Compatibility Testing for Windows 7" we talked about the importance of Application Compatibility and work we are doing to engineer this in Windows 7. In this post we will examine the challenge that emerges as we consider the world wide audience that Windows serves.
This blog post will cover the following areas:
For Windows 7 we have made significant investment in application compatibility, ensuring applications that worked on Vista, continue to work on Windows 7 and we’ve also rescued some applications that were broken in Vista to work on Windows 7 (more on that later). As we’ve talked about, there are some applications that are OS version specific by design (utilities, firewalls, security, etc.) and those are not included in this discussion.
One of the biggest challenges in International Application Compatibility is what applications we test, the scale of testing, and what it means for us to say that an application “works”. For Windows 7 we are testing over 1200 applications across 25 specific markets. We have improved our coverage over Vista by adding over 300 more international applications.
We look at applications in 3 buckets.
Categories 1 & 2 are pretty straightforward. There are a known set of key applications and scenarios used around the world and we must ensure these applications function in Windows 7. Category #3 is where there is some complexity.
The applications list we build for 3rd Party Local Applications is built using a number of methods. First, we build on the list of applications we have used in previous versions Windows (XP/Vista, etc). If it worked on Vista, it must work on Windows 7.
Next we work with our teams in markets around the world to rank top applications in particular markets. It is amazing to see the diversity in application use around the world. The application testing list is based on a combination of market data where it is available, individual knowledge of markets, culture, revenue, usage and even sometimes just “word on the street”. The cultural knowledge in these markets is probably most critical to our success. For example, casual gaming in Korea is hugely popular and we need to ensure our Windows 7 testing accounts for this.
Our goal in selecting applications is to test as many applications as we can that will expose the most issues across different scenarios and markets.
These scenarios include:
Once we build the list of applications we need to test the next process is acquiring them. We acquire applications in a variety of ways but many times we have to buy an application from a retail store just as any end user would. Other methods we use to acquire applications include downloading full featured trial versions, purchasing software, and working with ISVs to acquire their applications to ensure compatibility.
Testing applications means more than just installing them and making sure they launch. Every application gets a unique test plan written for it to cover as much functionality as we can. We write test cases to cover primary and secondary application functions – for our word processing example this would include opening a file, typing a letter, adjusting formatting, save, and print, emailing a copy to someone, etc. These applications go through 6 or more test passes during the product cycle.
Now, we can’t test every piece of every application and we do run into some interesting challenges when we focus on a worldwide audience. Many applications depend on location specific information (meaning if you aren’t testing the application in that location – you aren’t likely to have the information needed). Examples include Brazilian citizen’s CPF ID, or Brazilian personal number of identification which would be required to test something like tax preparation software. We run into similar problems with SMS applications requiring active local mobile phone accounts.
Along with the core tenet of ensuring that any application that worked on Windows Vista also work on Windows 7 we have a stretch goal to “raise the bar” and make applications work on Windows 7 that never worked on Windows Vista. For Windows 7, we have some good news early in the development cycle. So far we have made over 30 applications that were “broken” on Vista work on Windows 7. This means that Windows 7 will have higher application compatibility than Windows Vista. We are continuing to push this number up. Below is a table of the # of applications by language that we have made to work on Windows 7 but didn’t’ work on Vista.
Asure Purchase/Sale/Stock Master 2008
Cyberlink DVD Suite v6
Asure Accounting Master 2008
Haufe Personal Office Professional - Haufe Formular-Manager
Compedia Timmy in English World
Compedia Moomins: The Search for the Ruby
Compedia The Puzzling Time Quest
Finson Costo del Lavoro Italian v2
Finson Falco 6
Finson Progetto Condominio
Finson Contintasca 7
Kenchako Adventure 9.0
WZ Editor 5.0
Overland LOKI: with Japanese Manual
WF-Fakturka dla Windows
Nahlik eTeacher 5
Mexico Federal Taxes Simplified SAT: Individual Taxes
IKEA Home Kitchen Planner
Along with ensuring these applications work on Windows 7 we have taken an extra step for our existing Vista customers. Of the applications outlined in the above table, 27 of the fixes we made have been back ported to Windows Vista for possible inclusion in future updates. We really wanted to raise the bar for application compatibility and go beyond just looking at Vista as the baseline.
There is a lot of information here and hopefully gives you some insight into what it means for us to make the application experience (application compatibility) on Windows 7 as high as possible for users around the world. We started out with a goal of making sure if an application worked on Windows Vista it should work on Windows 7. We have taken that further by bringing applications that never worked on Vista to work on Windows 7 and even future updates to Vista.
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Why OpenAL? The current FreeSpace2 derivative, Beyond the Red Line, uses OpenAL. It runs on XP well, the response and battle is better.
but in winvista and xp it runs smooth, and ive tried the compability settings with 7 with no luck, any suggestions? you can download the program here
but support for a lot of compters would increase Microsofts share in the profitability of customers using Windows, and in these times of financial woe a lot of people would upgrade if the Operating system would at least support a poorly disigned chip set.
I can see the startup animation. But as soon as it switches screen modes to display the login screen, my display goes into powersave. Win7 cuts the output from whatever port my monitor is using, and forces me to disconnect it and connect to the other port on the same card, which does have output.
There are many complexities associated with offering these globally as a Windows API and it is something we will continue to investigate. This includes spelling within Internet Explorer.
Don't most of the apps you just listed already have recently released Vista-compatible versions?
I would like to see Windows 7 to be more games oriented with better processing for graphics and sound.
I guess that if Microsoft is to introduce Windows 7 as the follower to Vista, they really need to improve performance. I have a Quad CPU proc with 8 gb of ram and I can't say that performance is so great with Vista.
Vista was so riddled with performance issues it's not even funny. Microsoft's reputation is on the line - they'd better pull something special out of the bag with Windows 7, or watch as Google takes over. And I don't think anyone wants the company that essentially owns the internet to own operating systems as-well..
I had difficulties with vista regarding compatability. I hope Windows 7 will be better in this respect.
Great article, Windows 7 as the follower to Vista, they really need to improve performance, this is informative post please keep on posting
I personally use windows 7 beta version, it has been working great for the past 2-3 months or so. first I hesitate to use, as windows vista for really a bad product after all. Anyway let see how it goes and let see in the next few months and new update / release from microsoft.