Vista Compatibility Checks And Balances

Microsoft has adopted a strategy for insuring Vista application compatibility that borrows a page from the old Year 2000 (Y2K) compliance testing methods.

The Application Compatibility Factory is a partnership program with a trio of systems integrators, based in India, designed to address application compatibility on its forthcoming Vista Windows operating system.

Microsoft  expects to sign a pair of American firms to the program in the coming days or weeks but declined them.

Microsoft and its integrators — Wipro Technologies, Satyam Computer Services and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) — will examine custom applications written by corporations to determine any compatibility problems on Vista, and address any problems that are found.

Three firms may not seem like enough, given the thousands of applications to check, but Tiffany Allesina, group product manager for the Windows client at Microsoft said these companies can handle it.

“Wipro alone has 40,000 people in India, so these are not tiny companies. We feel totally confident they they have the capacity to handle whatever enterprise customers bring their way,” she told

This is a good start, but if anything, Microsoft needs to do more, said Michael Silver, senior analyst with Gartner.

“Microsoft needs to do anything they can to help customers get apps working on Vista. Companies need to continue to shed 16-bit apps and get apps to run as standard user. Some companies are so backlogged they have not been able to move to SP2 yet. Imagine the problem moving to Vista will create,” he said.

Outsourcing overseas was the tactic used by many companies preparing for Y2k compliance in the late 1990s, as IT firms in India were often the partners or service providers in checking and fixing code.

However, back then, some companies were not comfortable with sending their internal applications to an off-shore source, and Microsoft is aware of that now, which is why it is working on the two American partners, according to Allesina.

Neither Microsoft nor its partners is making any kinds of promises around turnaround, since every project is different in scope, size and complexity. “We just want to put customers in touch with partners we know and let customers and partners work together on a time line for a project,” said Allesina.

News Around the Web