Windows 7 Beta – Application Compatibility List (update)

Starting Windows 7 With Windows 7 officially in beta and millions of people apparently clamoring to try it, I expect many people will be playing the “does it/doesn’t it” work game with their favorite software and the new beta OS. I recently made the jump to start running Win7 full-time and have already installed a number of applications with varying degrees of success. To help others traveling along this path, I plan to log my experiences here for my app compatibility experiences with Win7 Beta.

Before I begin listing apps, though, let me provide my general advice when it comes to installing software on Windows 7 beta. It is very possible that you will hit problems when trying to install your software, but in almost all cases, you can solve your problems with these steps:

  1. Re-run the installer as “admin”
    With elevated privileges, most installs recover and work- even installs that should have worked b/c they worked in Vista.
  2. Re-boot, re-run the installer
    When the simple “Run as admin” fails to solve the problem, try rebooting, then re-running the install. In cases where run as admin failed, rebooting solved most of my remaining install problems.

With that out of the way, here are the specific apps I’ve installed and the current status (last updated: 20 Feb 2009):

App Name Status/Notes
Office 2007 Ultimate (including Outlook) No problems. Ran installer as admin.
Cisco VPN ( HUGE problems. After install, BSODs Windows. There is a solid work around out there, though. This worked for me:
Trillian Astra IM (Beta) No problems. Works well.
Firefox 3.1 (Beta) Installs fine, but must run as admin. Won’t launch if not launched as admin.
FireBug 1.4 (alpha) works fine in FF3.1 beta on Win 7. Foxmarks works, too.
Chrome (v1) Installs and runs fine
UPDATE: Well, maybe it’s not perfect in Win7. Chrome is crashing much more often than it did in Vista (yes, Chrome does crash). Works most of the time, but a little buggy.
Live Mesh Installed and worked at first, now fails to start on boot. Fails to start and provides relatively generic error. For now, this is broken for me, though I know it’s working for others. Also, cannot uninstall- all attempts currently fail.
UPDATE: After disabling UAC, it now works!
SnagIt (v9) Installs and works fine.
Visual Studio 2008 Team System Installs and works fine (so far)
UPDATE: Only major problem so far is working with web services. All attempts to use WCF or ASMX web services in Cassini currently fail. Others have mentioned this problem. Hopefully MS will fix this soon.
SQL Express 2008 Installs and works fine. Ran installer as admin.
Expression Blend Installed fine. Haven’t tested yet.
Silverlight SDK, VS Silverlight Tools Installs fine and runs fine
RegEx Buddy Installs fine, runs fine.
Xobni (Outlook plug-in) Installs and works well. Performance much improved recently.
Live Writer Using it now. Installs and works fine.
Adobe CS3 (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign) Install is a little tricky. Failed the first time. After a reboot and run as admin from a DVD (must burn files to disc first), installs fine.
Ashampoo (DVD burning) Window’s built-in data DVD authoring would not work for me. I installed Ashampoo and it worked fine.
UPDATE: After disabling UAC, Windows data DVD authoring is working as expected.
Telerik RadControls/Telerik Reporting/Telerik OpenAccesss ORM/Telerik WebUI Test Studio All Telerik tools install and work fine. Development experience works and apps built with the tools work in Win7.
Virtual Clone Drive (ISO mounter) Install worked fine, but application does not work. Worse, cannot be uninstalled. Install at your own risk for now.
ReSharper 4.1 Installs fine. Seems to work without serious problems.
ZoomIt (utility) Works without error in Win7 beta.
GoToMeeting (UPDATE) Works fine (I’ve used GTM and GTW) BUT for whatever crazy reason, Citrix blocks downloads of the GTM software when you access the download site from Win7. Just plain dumb since their software already appears to work fine in Win7. Workaround: grab the installer directly and you’ll be fine:
Internet Download Manager (UPDATE) Installs fine, works fine, intercepts download fine
Camtasia Studio 6.0 (UPDATE) Installs fine, works fine. I’ve recorded a few video, edited them, and published them without issue.
3D-FTP (UPDATE) Bah! I’ve love this program for so long, but alas the latest version just doesn’t work well on Win7. Granted, I’ve never used the latest version on Vista (I was using an older version previously). Point: latest version is not worth the upgrade.
CuteFTP 8 Pro (UPDATE) Installs and works great! Better than 3D-FTP.
Virtual PC 2007 (UPDATE) Installs fine, works fine. I’ve built a Vista VPC and it works like normal.

UPDATE: I just got tired of needing to elevate everything to “Run as Admin” to get anything done, so I disabled UAC completely. After a restart, low and behold, Live Mesh started working! And, the files that previously wouldn’t work with Windows DVD burner suddenly were available for burning! Guess UAC needs some more “tweaking.” For now, if you’re a power user, you can probably save some headaches by turning it off. </update>

That’s all for now. As you can see, the only things really giving me trouble are Live Mesh, Virtual Clone Drive, and Window’s own built-in DVD authoring. Otherwise, things are working well. If I have any other major installs, I’ll be sure to update this post, so bookmark this for future reference. Also, feel free to share your own experiences in the comments to help others. If there are enough comments, I’ll update the post with the community compatibility updates.

Hope this helps all of you joining me on the bleeding edge!


  • Virtual Clone Drive works fine on my machine with W7. I was a bit worried since I found posts that it works but windows cannot automatically shutdown once installed, but no such problem either. Happy camper :)

  • @Steve- Interesting. Do you have UAC turned-off? I've turned UAC off and that's fixed a lot of my problems, and it may have even fixed my Virtual Clone Drive (haven't retested yet).

    @Grant- Yes, I did have some challenges getting GoToMeeting installed, but that was simply because the download page (for whatever crazy reason) blocks download from Win7. I found the installer elsewhere, though, and it installed fine. I've used GTM several times without issue (both with and without UAC).


  • Thank you for this interesting article. I was afraid to try Windows 7 and then force to downgrade again in case it didn't work. Now I guess I'll give it a try.

  • I have tried on Several Laptops and Desktops so far.

    Seems Like most of the software is not a problem. Checking the Compatibility check - You can probably install all softwares.
    Its more of a DRIVERS ISSUE

    Successfully loaded on
    Dell Latitude 5150
    New Lenovo(IBM) T500
    HP SFF 7700

    On Dell Latitude D500- it does not load the display drivers correctly. Even though it loads the drivers - on a reboot it again goes back to the generic display drivers.

    So far this is my experience.

  • @Pradip- I'd say that's fair. Drivers are definitely tricky. So far though, I've also had little trouble with Win7 and drivers. Anything that worked with Vista (and then some) has worked with Win7 for me.

    Did your Dell run Vista before 7? I'd expect most things that worked on Vista to work on 7 now.


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