Windows 8 64bit - will it run my current programs

  johnincrete 17:08 03 Apr 13

I was browsing the shops for a cheap laptop and noticed that they all came with Windows 8 64 bit. How can I find out if I would be able to run my current programs that are running under XP? I have Office 2003, Serif's WebPlus, PagePlus and MoviePlus all X5, an old copy of Nero that I use for burning CD's (at least 10 per week)and an old version of WavePad that gets lots of use. Plus, of course, lots of other bits and pieces. Apart from the Serif stuff, I don't have installation CD's.

  chub_tor 17:17 03 Apr 13

If you go to Windows 8 compatibility centre you can type in each programme in turn to see if it is compatible. I did it for Office 2003 (not compatible) and Serif WebPlus x5 (is compatible) just type the names in and all will be revealed.

  john bunyan 18:18 03 Apr 13

Many programmes install as 32 bit, even on a 64 bit machine. You will see them , in windows explorer, in C:Programme Files(x86)as opposed to C:/Programme Files that are the 64 bit ones. Most should be OK. Do follow what chub_tor suggeasts.

  johnincrete 09:30 04 Apr 13

Thanks for the link chub_tor. Most of my programs either are not compatible or are not recognised. Typical Microsoft!

It seems that I would need to buy new software and that makes these cheap laptops much more expensive

  onthelimit1 11:22 04 Apr 13

I recently bought a W8 32 bit PC. Office 2003 runs fine on it, despite MS saying it won't.

  Zeppelyn 11:40 04 Apr 13

Suck it and see is the best option, Office 2003 is my oldest program and that works perfectly with Win 8 x64, there's also compatibility mode to try.

  northumbria61 11:43 04 Apr 13

Typical Microsoft! Well John you can't expect things to go on forever. There has been been several MS OS's since XP many of which have run older programs, perhaps with a bit of tweaking but you wouldn't expect today's modern car to run like it does with an old carburettor on it, would you?

  Zeppelyn 11:43 04 Apr 13

I notice you don't have the install media so looks like you will need new copies anyway although there are free copies of Nero on the web, don't know about others.

  Batch 12:37 04 Apr 13

Chances are very many old 32 bit programs will run. Where one tends to run into problems is where 32 bit drivers are involved.

With Win7 64 bit, the only program I've run into that just won't work is an old 16 bit French-English dictionary that was originally developed for Win3.1

  xania 13:02 04 Apr 13

You should also check for any attached hardware i.e printer, camera.

BTW, (on my regular high horse) if you don't REALLY want Windows 8, why not go for the more reliable Window 7 - I understand there are plenty of suppliers that will give you that option. You will have the same (or similar) compatibility problems, but IMHO a far better overall experience if your don't have a touch screen device.

  Batch 16:29 04 Apr 13

Another thought.

If you have 32 bit programs that put things in the context menus for folders / files (as in Windows Explorer context menus), these won't work under Win7/8 64 bit. And, as I understand it, unlike Vista you can't force the 32 bit version on Windows Explorer to run (even if it is on the PC) and so cannot get the context menus that way.

Basically a 32 bit context menu item can't be launched from a context menu in 64 bit Windows Explorer.

However, there is a reasonable workaround in Wow64Menu

This creates a (presumably 64 bit) Wow64Menu context menu entry (in 64 bit Windows Explorer). If you click on this entry it launches (a presumably 32 bit) "sub-"context menu with the applicable 32 bit context menu entries.

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