can older programs work on Windows 7?

IF an older program will not run automatically in Windows 7, you can try adjusting its compatibility settings. This feature sometimes allows software written for previous systems to work with the current version of Windows.
In Windows 7, right-click on the icon of the older program and choose “Troubleshoot compatibility” from the menu. When you click on the “Troubleshoot program” option, a wizard walks you through a few screens and asks for basic information, including what version of Windows the program used to work with.
Based on your answers, the troubleshooter adjusts your system settings and tries to run the older program. You can also try the troubleshooter on the setup files on the installation discs from older programs if they won’t install properly.
The Windows 7 compatibility settings can be adjusted manually as well. To do so, right-click on the older program’s icon and select Properties from the menu.
In the Properties box, click the Compatibility tab. In this box, you can select the version of Windows the program was intended for and make other changes to settings like screen resolution.
Microsoft has full instructions and a video demonstrating how to use the Windows 7 compatibility mode at The company also advises against changing the settings for security and utility programs that were meant to work with a specific version of Windows.
The Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate editions can use the Windows XP Mode software to run programs written for Windows XP right in Windows 7. Microsoft has the details on Windows XP Mode at
Adjusting the compatibility settings is not always a sure fix. If you can’t get the software to work, buying a new Windows 7-friendly version of the program may be the last resort.

Tip of the week
Windows, Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux all include a free Calculator program with the operating system. At first glance, the Calculator may seem like just a simple tool for basic math chores, but take a look in the program’s View menu. Here, you can switch between a simple adding machine to a version that does scientific calculations or even one that can handle programmer math in hexadecimal, binary and octal numbers. Each system has its own little variations as well. For example, the Calculator in Windows 7 includes worksheets for calculating a mortgage and the Calculator in recent versions of Mac OS X has a printable Paper Tape option under the Window menu that displays a history of all the calculations made. – New York Times

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