Right click on the icons and go to the compatibility tab. In there, set it to run in XP compatibility mode and see if that works.
Also, some software that is 32-bit use 16-bit installers. Have you installed the applications or can you not install them? Because, if they aren't installing, it's probably because they are using 16-bit installers which will not work under 64-bit windows.
If you have at least Windows 7 Professional and your CPU can do virtualization, then you could install Windows XP Mode (it's free) and try to install and run your software that way.