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Don't get too excited about the fact that Windows 8 will have a 'Windows 7 mode'

Over at The Register there's a piece about Windows 8 and how the ARM flavor of that OS won't run legacy apps. The same article also features the revelation that Windows 8 will feature a 'Windows 7 mode.' Just don't get too excited about it just yet!

Over at The Register there's a piece about Windows 8 and how the ARM flavor of that OS won't run legacy apps. The same article also features the revelation that Windows 8 will feature a 'Windows 7 mode.' Just don't get too excited about it just yet!

Speaking Tuesday at Intel's Investor Meeting 2011 in Santa Clara, California, Intel Senior VP Renée James had this to say:

"[Windows 8 traditional] means that our customers, or anyone who has an Intel-based or an x86-based product, will be able to run either Windows 7 mode or Windows 8 mode. They'll run all of their old applications, all of their old files - there'll be no issue."

Talk of a 'Windows 7 mode' has interested some because it's the first suggestion we have that Windows 8 could feature some deep changes to the underlying architecture, but that thanks to the compatibility mode, existing stuff won't be broken (hopefully). That said, this could also amount to very little. Remember, different 'compatibility modes' in Windows are nothing new ... Windows has offered this feature for some time. Even the leaked builds of Windows 8 show Windows 7 in the compatibility mode listing.

Either way, this should be comforting to those using Windows 7 that their stuff should run on Windows 8.

The points made by James regarding ARM not being able to run legacy applications are not new, but we still get some interesting tidbits. Take this, for example:

"On ARM, there'll be the new experience, which is very specifically around the mobile experience, specifically around tablet and some limited clamshell, with no legacy OS. Our competitors will not be running legacy applications. Not now. Not ever."

The takeaway here is that Windows 8 on ARM is going to mean that Microsoft will have to breathe life into into yet another platform. One can assume that apps for this platform will revolve around .NET/Silverlight/Metro/Visual Studio 2010. But nonetheless, it does mean that that ARM-based Windows 8 systems won't be able to run most of the stuff that you're currently using. That's worrying ...

Roll on the Windows 8 beta ... or at least a fresher leaked build!