There’s an interesting story from last Thursday morning (10/20/2011) on the IT ProPortal site entitled “How to Use Windows 7 Everydays Apps in Windows 8?” Therein, author Alex Serban demonstrates the truth of Microsoft’s claims that ordinary Windows 7 apps run seemingly unchanged within the desktop side of the Windows 8 interface. Using this facility does require access what Serban calls “the old classic interface” (which Microsoft sometimes refers to as “the desktop interface”) and lauching the application from there. And although there is no start menu available, so you must cycle through Metro UI to launch or run multiple applications, old-style or new, old-style applications still work the same as they ever did.
Frankly I found rumors or speculation that current Windows 7 apps wouldn’t work in Windows 8 either hysterical or blatant attempts to incite controversy. Given the huge catalog of applications for the current reigning Windows OS, why would Microsoft want to alienate all of its application developers in one go? That just doesn’t make sense. This is especially important to the business/corporate market, which is always slower to adopt new desktop operating systems than are individual users, and which always look at new releases with a skeptical, if not outrightly jaundiced viewpoint, ready to pounce on incompatibility issues to fuel their natural tendencies to delay platform migrations as long as possible.
That’s why I’m glad to learn that my own experiences running existing apps in Windows 8’s current developer preview are being repeated elsewhere as other professionals dig into the new OS and learn what they can about its pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, and so forth. It continues to be an interesting ride, and it’s pretty clear that MS still has lots of work to do to smooth out some rough edges in the next 11 months or so before the latest Windows version is ready for prime time.