Windows 8 Will Run Windows 7 Software Just Fine

While the jump from Windows XP to Vista resulted in some compatibility headaches, the move from Vista to Windows 7 was far more pain-free. What will the upgrade to Windows 8 be like? According to Microsoft, it'll be easy.

“The gateway to get to Windows 8 is Windows 7, and we will have backward compatibility with Windows 7 embedded into Windows 8. That's something that we're very committed to. But that's a really important first pillar,” Kevin Turner, Microsoft's COO said at the Worldwide Partner Conference 2011.

Despite having a slick new tile interface, the desktop underneath for Windows 8 appears to closely resemble that from Windows 7.

Tami Reller, Corporate Vice President and CFO, Windows & Windows Live said earlier that Windows 8's hardware requirements will be similar, or even lower, than the ones for Windows 7.

“For our business customers, your customers, this is an important element because the ability of Windows 8 to run on Windows 7 devices ensures that the hardware investments that these customers are making today will be able to take advantage of Windows 8 in the future. And there's beautiful hardware in the market today,” Reller said.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • marraco
    I'm already tired of eternal upgrading. I'm going try to jump over Windows 8.
  • jhansonxi
    Malware authors will be relieved.
  • tofu2go
    If the only change in Windows 8 is the tile interface and the API additions to support it, this should be a $29 or less update, much like Snow Leopard was.
  • XD_dued
    marracoI'm already tired of eternal upgrading. I'm going try to jump over Windows 8.
    No one is forcing you to get it.

    I wonder if they will make any solution to run x86 programs on ARM systems. But I think it'd probably be too difficult.
  • Windows 8 = Microsoft Tile 1.0? lolx..
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    TA152HYes, but you'd miss the whole point of every Microsoft OS since Windows 2000. It's to make them money, and not to help you or anyone else. $29 for an upgrade wouldn't feed their coffers, so they'll release an annoying new interface, add yet another operating system that needs to be supported by people in IT that does nothing different, and create a yet slower release (it's laughable that people think Windows 7 isn't the slowest OS yet, even though every test proves it's even slower than Vista). Microsoft creates so many headaches with their constant, useless, changes. Move this here, make this thing round instead of square, etc... just so it looks like an upgrade, instead of making the damn thing faster, less buggy, and less bloated without changing where everything is. No wonder Apple keeps gaining market share. Even against a monopoly. This despite obscenely overpriced hardware, and an autocratic, heavy-handed, and borderline abusive corporate policy.What a choice. In hardware we get excellence from Intel, and AMD. In software, we got a choice between Apple and Microsoft. Both suck. Is it too late to bring OS/2 back? It's 16 years since they did an update, and the interface is still more powerful than Windows.
    Troll much?
  • kilo_17
    This is an "important element" for the "business customers" seems like a good chunk of businesses still run Windows XP.
  • shoelessinsight
    I doubt I'll have this on any of my desktops or laptops in the near future (and perhaps never if they end up releasing Windows 9 only a couple years later). However, I am keenly interested in this operating system for HTPC purposes.

    Assuming the tile interface is remote/Kinect friendly, I can see this as being ideal in a couch and television setting. I'll be able to run any software I want, but might not necessarily have to grab a mouse and keyboard each time.
    Lets hope Windows 8 isn't the new Windows Vista in terms of poor functionality.
  • bustapr
    Im not really interested in it, Win7 exceeds my needs at the moment and its really easy to work with. And its pretty obvious that Win8 is just a testing out something new and since because Win7 is so solid they dont need to fear losing customers.