A working list of apps not working on Vista

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.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

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?

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