Application compatibility with Windows 7


How many of you have migrated to Windows 7? If the company you work for has, I bet there are a host of applications that are not compatible with Windows 7 (although Win7 is much better at app compatibility than Vista). So what options do you have? . Let’s say your application worked fine with Windows XP, does that mean your users need XP and Windows 7 desktops? Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many people end up with multiple desktops at their desk. Not sure about you, but it seems like a waste to have two desktops for a simple issue as application compatibility

No. The user can still use Windows 7 and with a little Citrix-Magic in the backend, you can merge everything together.

First, let’s get the application working. We know it works on Windows XP, but let’s see if it works on Windows Server 2003 with XenApp. If it does we can get better scalability by having many users share the XenApp server instead of allocating many Windows XP virtual desktops. Just so you know, this is what I call Hosted Applications: applications that run remotely on a XenApp server.

If the application doesn’t’ work on Windows 2003, you can go down the VM-Hosted Application path. This uses a Windows XP operating system to run the applications. But the user will not see the Windows XP desktop, they only se the application. So when the user is on a Windows 7 desktop, they can still get to their XP-based applications seamlessly, which is critical. You know how confusing it is to have two start menus?

What does the user see is an important question.  The user will see, if using Citrix Receiver, application icons for all of their applications in the start menu. Launching an application could either launch a local app, a hosted app, a VM-hosted app or maybe even an App-V app.  The user won’t know, and that is how it should be.

Debating on which path to take? Think of it this way:

  1. XenApp option gives you much better scalability and the majority of application work
  2. VM-Hosted Apps should work for every application that worked on a physical Windows XP desktop

Daniel – Lead Architect
XenDesktop Design Handbook

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