from doing google search it does seem lots of people have been having problems with running aoe series of games on windows 7. There is a lot about people trying to get aoe2 to run on windows 7. Not sure if some solutions proposed for aoe2 will work for aoe1. A lot of solutions aoe2 are discussed here, might be worth trying to see if the solutions are valid for aoe1:http://www.sevenforums.com/gaming/2790-age-empires-2-aoc-expansion.html
I have had aoe2 gold for a while but I have yet to get round to playing it, but then I am still running windows xp so I doubt it would be a problem for me. I don't plan to upgrade to windows 7 any time soon, for the very reason that some classic old games are not compatible with win7.