A working list of apps not working on Vista

A working list of apps not working on Vista

Summary: Microsoft may be reticent to provide a list of what’s not working on Vista, but that isn’t stopping others from going public with their findings.

TOPICS: Windows

Microsoft may be reticent to provide a list of what’s not working on Vista, but that isn’t stopping others from going public with their findings.

The folks over on IEXBeta.com have published as a Wiki a list of applications that work (mostly) well; work somewhat less well and don’t work at all with Windows Vista Release Candidate (RC) 1.

(Caveat: While this is not a Microsoft-certified list, I found it via a Microsoft blogger who pointed to it.)

First off, there are a lot more apps listed as working than not on IEXBeta’s list. But cutting to the chase – the section marked “Heavy Problems, Currently Incompatible” – here’s IEXBeta’s partial list, comprised by their site’s members, of applications aren’t doing so well on the Vista compatibility front. In no particular order:

• Crystal Reports

• Microsoft Expression Web (“Quartz”)

• Oracle Developer Suite 10g

• Oracle Workflow Builder

• Cisco Security Agent firewall

• Windows LiveMail Beta (with Rhapsody support)

• Diskeeper Professional Premier

• HP OpenView Service Desk

• Novell Client

• Symantec/Norton Partition Magic

“Currently incompatible,” for these purposes, means everything from “installation fails,” to “installs but doesn’t work,” to “crashes when run.”

Surprises on the list?

Many antispyware and antivirus applications do work just fine, in spite of – or maybe because of – the outcry of many of Microsoft’s competitors.

According to the IEXBeta testers, AdAware SE Personal, McAfee Enterprise Spyware, McAfee VirusScan Enterprise, Norton 360 Beta, Symantec Antivirus (version, Trend Micro v14.56.1008 (32 Bit) and Trend Micro PCC14.56EN VistaBeta2 (64 Bit) all work fine with Vista RC1.

Not surprisingly, many popular games are encountering at least some problems when tested on RC1. IEXBeta groups the majority of games under the “working” category, but notes the various quirks testers should expect to encounter when running them (resolution problems, rogue warnings and more).

In the “sort-of, kind-of works” with Vista RC1 category, there are some interesting entries, too. Adobe Photoshop CS2 encounters a number of problems, many of which can be alleviated by manually installing the program, according to the list notes. Microsoft Office Communicator (version 1.0.559) experiences “random crashes.” Trillian (version 3.1) isn’t working correctly with Aero Glass. Firefox Beta 2, IEXBeta’s listing says, “(i)nstalls fine. Runs great. After the first restart of Vista it will not open.” VMWare Workstation (version 5.5.2) requires users to run as Administrator – a Vista no-no -- for “full functionality.”

On a related note, Microsoft released last week a new 91-page whitepaper that includes more app-compatibility guidance, specifically around how to develop and tailor applications to accommodate Vista’s User Access Control (UAC) functionality.

“Whether or not your application will be affected by UAC depends on the application’s current state,” the UAC paper notes. “In a number of cases, no changes will be necessary to comply with Microsoft Windows Security requirements. However, some applications, including line of business (LOB) applications, may require changes to their install, function, and update processes to properly work in a Windows Vista UAC environment.”

Thanks to readers who’ve been sending me their own Vista app-compatibility testing results. Keep 'em coming. Meanwhile, I'm curious: Do your tests back the IEXBeta members' findings?

Topic: Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • slight correction

    Microsoft Expression Web Designer = "Quartz", not "Sparkle" (that's Interactive Designer).

    I hate those corporate names for those porducts, btw. Expression is a good name for the suite, but Quartz, Sparkle & Acrylic are much better app names than Web Designer, Interactive Designer & Graphic Designer.
    • slight correction on code names

      Thanks, KilKenny. You are right. I changed Expression Web to "Quartz." Thanks.
      Mary Jo Foley
  • A working list of apps not working on Vista

    This is clearly the fault of the software companies not keeping up with Microsoft's constantly improving source code in its new superior operating system. It is the lack of proactiveness on the part of these programmers that is the reason they are incompatible with Vista's rock-solid source code, and if they cannot keep up with the times it isn't Microsoft's problem.
    • You have got to be kidding... (NT)

    • Are we going to have to score your posts as well as Mike COx?


      you are getting good
      • You are not qualified

        to judge anything...
        • Neither are you(nT)

          • I agree

            complete amateur ranting with no basis.

            i guess you "really" cant grind if you have no axe. now that makes sence and now i understand completely.
            not of this world
    • Give the man credit , when the credit is well deserved .

      I'll say ole chap , you are doing extremely well here in the caves . You are doing an exceptional job one responses . I'll give you a 10 for a well composed satirical story . I checked out your response on another board and you did an even better job on L.D.

      "In a world without walls and fences , who needs windows and gates."
      I'm Ye, the MS SHILL .
  • A bigger concern

    Microsoft wrote and distributed (WinXP) a control called MSWebDVD that hundreds (thousands?) of applications use internally.

    For reasons not explained they decided to remove it from Vista and it can not be installed from previous versions.

    End result, LOTS of broken apps.
    • It was gone in Beta 1...

      To be fair, MS removed it from Beta 1 and even mentioned its removal in the Beta 1 Release Notes: http://www.activewin.com/articles/2005/15.shtml

      I don't like it either when MS removes stuff, but you can't blame them for not warning people; it certainly wasn't a sudden move. ISVs have had over a year since Beta 1's release to update their programs.

      Personally, I don't know of any apps that use it... I can't believe that they number in the thousands. Can you point to a list?
      • Almost all games

        use it to display "video" from the DVD.

        I understand they removed it and warned people, but the real issue is there is nothing available to replace it. (Short of completely building your own player.)

        Like I said, I can understand improving it (and other controls) but to simply take it out with no replacement is a deal breaker.

        But more to the point, if MS begs developers to use their managed code/controls and then take huge chunks out and break all existing apps it will drive the developers away.

        Honestly, I and lots of other developers are getting sick of constantly having to recode applications because MS changed directions, over, and over, and over...

        Makes a guy want to go back to VB 5....
        • So, what did they use

          when you played the game on win 2000?
          • The dll could be

            installed on Win 2000 and was shipped with the app/game.
        • odd

          Most games I've played do one of three things:

          -Use a custom, proprietary video decoder and display the video directly onto a DirectX surface.

          -Use a common video codec such as DivX, and hook into Windows Media player somehow.

          -Use Bink video (despite the cost, it seems to be popular).

          I have my doubts as to how often this control is actually used in games. Most games I know of use DirectX and not ActiveX.
          • Actually it plugs into DirectX

            or visa versa
  • I'm curious as to how many of those apps actually work with XP...

    ...when using a limited account. Because if it doesn't work as a limited user on XP, you can hardly expect it to work on Vista.

    You can't blame Microsoft for the apps that fall into that category: those apps have had HOW MANY years to get their act together? In fact, in Vista MS is even trying to make it easier for those kinds of apps, through Program Files & Registry virtualization.
  • OS utilities

    don't belong on this list. Versions programed for the current OS will almost never work on a newer OS, and this has been the case with every new version of Windows. So take the firewalls, defraggers, and partitioners off the list, because it's unreasonable to expect versions programmed for XP to work with Vista. I'm sure replacements will be available soon after Vista goes gold. Actually, I think it's nothing short of miraculous that AV programs are working.

    The database utilities are a concern, and so are the MS programs listed. But the other ones really are OS specific.
    Michael Kelly
  • It would be far easier to read the list of Apps that DO work properly on...

    ... Vista as listed below:

  • Big Deal

    That happens with Apple every OS release they put out....
    John Zern