News

Microsoft ACT 5.6 Supports 64-Bit Windows 7

Microsoft last week stepped up its ACT, releasing the latest version of a free tool that checks the compatibility of applications with Windows 7.

The new Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.6 for IT professionals is most notable for adding the ability to check app compatibility with 64-bit Windows 7. The tool's "data collection packages" can now run on 64-bit systems. In addition for those IT shops that run a mix of 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7, this latest version of ACT enables separate assessments for each system.

ACT 5.6 isn't just a passive inventory engine. It analyses software updates too, as well as hardware, and it helps with some mitigations, according to Microsoft's announcement. The tool is currently available at the Microsoft Download Center here.

IT pros faced with fixing an application compatibility issue that can't be patched can learn how to apply a shim. The tool contains a tutorial and a demo for the purpose.

The tool's "compatibility administrator" now has the ability to "shim 64-bit and MSIL-compiled applications," according to Microsoft. Shimming interacts with an API to change its parameters or redirect the operation, according to Wikipedia's definition of a shim. Microsoft supplies a full description of the shimming process as it relates to Windows at this TechCenter library page.

Users of ACT 5.6 can now vote with other users on just how compatible applications really are with Windows 7. The new version of the tool includes a "sliding bar" that indicates community assessment of app compatibility. Microsoft maintains a Web service with updates from independent software vendors on compatibility with Windows 7. Users can synchronize with this Web service, which is updated every two weeks.

For this release of ACT, Microsoft removed the No. 1 complaint users had with the earlier ACT 5.5 -- namely, a reference to the release candidate (RC) version of Windows 7. Even though ACT 5.5 supported the current release-to-manufacturing version of Windows 7, Microsoft had "technical issues" that prevented removing the letters "RC" in ACT 5.5, causing confusion among users. Now, with this new version, those RC letters are gone from the application manager, Microsoft explained.

For those just wanting a list of applications compatible with Windows 7, Microsoft provides it in Excel format at the Microsoft Download Center here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

Featured

  • Azure Active Directory Proxy Service Now Supports SAML Identity

    Microsoft announced on Tuesday that the Azure Active Directory (AD) Proxy service now works with applications that use the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 for user authentications.

  • How To (Safely) Run Untrusted Applications in Windows 10

    The new Sandbox feature in Windows 10 lets organizations run potentially risky executables in isolation, without having to set up a virtual machine.

  • Office 365 App Activations Getting Streamlined for End Users

    Microsoft plans to ease the Office 365 app installation experience for end users, starting as early as next month, for organizations using some monthly subscription plans, according to a Monday announcement.

  • Nebula

    With $1 Billion Investment, Microsoft Sets Sights on 'Artificial General Intelligence'

    A $1 billion investment from Microsoft promises to turbocharge the efforts of research outfit OpenAI around artificial general intelligence (AGI).

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.