Review: Windows Vista (Application Compatibility)

Posted November 28th, 2006 by kyle

This week I spent some time installing my essential software applications under Windows Vista (RTM build). The results were not great. Out of about 35 applications that I depend on, 8 of them either would not install or run properly, with little prospect for them working any time soon (if ever in some cases):

  • FileBox Extender: Doesn’t run properly and no plans to update it for Vista (also doesn’t work with Office 2007 file dialogs). The new Vista file dialogs are even less keyboard friendly than before, so a good file dialog extender is a must.
  • FolderSize: Installs but doesn’t add a Folder Size column to Explorer (why oh why couldn’t MS make the built-in Size column show folder sizes?). The contact address for the author bounces.
  • HandyFind: Doesn’t function in Internet Explorer on Vista. I reported the problem to the author but haven’t heard back when a fix might be provided.
  • PDF Redirect: Installs but hangs during PDF generation.
  • PhraseExpress: Installs but won’t insert text into programs.
  • TaskSwitchXP: Refuses to install, saying it depends on required features in XP/2003.
  • Visual Studio 2005: Won’t be fully supported until sometime after SP1, and VS.NET 2003 isn’t supported at all.
  • VMware Workstation: Apparently won’t support Vista as a host OS until v6, and no official announcements have been made on when that will be released.
    It looks like it could be quite some time until Vista replaces XP for me.

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  • 4 Comments on “Review: Windows Vista (Application Compatibility)”

    1. Boris Says:

      FileBox Extender (the favorites part) and TaskSwitchXP seem almost unnecessary in Vista.
      I know Visual Studio is not officially supported yet, but it seems it works OK.

    2. kyle Says:

      I disagree WRT FileBox. As I stated “The new Vista file dialogs are even less keyboard friendly than before, so a good file dialog extender is a must.” Using FileBox, my favorites are two keystrokes away (Ctrl+;, letter). The Vista dialogs require either many Tabs or even mouse clicks to navigate.

      TaskSwitchXP is less important on Vista but still useful (better keyboard support, instance switching, multi-monitor support, etc.). Apparently it will never work with Aero but can be made to work with Basic theme:
      http://www.ntwind.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=561

    3. mikeb Says:

      FileBox Extender has recently been upgraded to support Vista.

    4. kyle Says:

      I think these all work on Vista now except for FolderSize.

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