Windows 8

Mary-Jo Foley reports that Windows 8 ARM won’t run legacy applications, and Windows 8 x86/x64 will run legacy apps through a “Windows 7 Mode”.

Source

James also told shareholder meeting participants, as The Register reported, that there will be two classes of Windows 8 PCs: Ones running x86/x64 chips that will be able to run legacy applications, and ones running ARM processors that will not. The x86/x64 version will include a Windows 7 mode, she said, that will enable this legacy-app support

This could mean great things for “Windows 8 approved” applications, as MS could pull out a lot of the legacy support in Windows. There are things in the win32 API that have been there since Windows NT 3.1 way back in 1993. Pulling those out could make startup, shutdown, application loading, and general UI responsiveness much faster. Of course, this requires developers to get on board with making their apps “Windows 8 ready”, but I don’t think that will be a problem for most of them. And if they’re made available in the rumored Windows App Store, then users will have an easy time finding them. I wonder if MS will require the rumored “AppX” framework to be used, or if any old win32 app can be upgraded.

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