Menu
Microsoft expands Windows 7-to-Windows 10 app compatibility pledge

Microsoft expands Windows 7-to-Windows 10 app compatibility pledge

Vendor's 'Desktop App Assure' program launched in October in North America; it's now been expanded worldwide

Credit: Dreamstime

Microsoft this week announced that an application compatibility guarantee it gave to enterprises migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10 has gone global.

The "Desktop App Assure" program, which launched in October and was then available in North America only, has been expanded to all markets, Brad Anderson, the executive who leads the Microsoft 365 group, said in a post to a company blog.

"We've heard loud and clear that one of the most important considerations for shifting to a modern desktop is application compatibility, and we've done a massive amount of work to ensure that Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus are now the most compatible upgrades ever," Anderson said.

App Assure is a benefit to customers who subscribe to Windows 10 or Microsoft 365, both which come in E3 and E5 plans. The service is available to those who purchase 150 or more licenses of an eligible plan.

Incompatible app? Microsoft says it will fix it for free

Microsoft introduced App Assure last year, pitching it as one component of "FastTrack Center Benefit," a collection of free services and tools for deploying various enterprise-grade products, including the Microsoft 365 subscription, a bundle of Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security.

The idea behind App Assure is just that. "If an app works on a previous version of Windows and, when you update to the latest version of Windows 10, it stops working, we'll fix it for free," wrote Chris Jackson, a principal program manager, in an 16 October post.

That pledge would hold whether the application needed to move from Windows 7 to Windows 10, or from one version of Windows 10 to another.

"App compatibility is always in people's minds," said Stephen Kleynhans, an analyst at Gartner Research, talking about hesitations companies have before upgrading operating systems.

"Why? Number one, it's the history. Whenever there's a new anything, people ask, 'Are my apps going to stop working?' That's the first thing you think about. Number two, it's the most obvious problem (related to an OS migration)."

To allay those fears and get customers migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10 (mostly) or willingly accept the twice-annual feature upgrades of Window 10 (somewhat), Microsoft assured enterprises it would step in if needed. "We'll help with troubleshooting your application and suggest a remediation," said Microsoft's Jackson.

"App Assure a really good move by Microsoft to quell the concern that customers might have about upgrading to Windows 10," said Kleynhans.

App Assure aims to reassure users

Like an insurance policy, App Assure is meant not only to reduce real risk but also to reduce the perception of risk. And that perception has been overblown, implied Anderson of Microsoft.

"The Desktop App Assure team doesn't exist because there are a lot of apps in need of remediation," he said. "Instead, the Desktop App Assure team was created ... so you can have confidence when you upgrade ((emphasis added))."

Anderson cited statistics that show app compatibility has been, the assurance notwithstanding, a minor problem. Out of the 7,000 application-evaluation requests customers have made to Microsoft so far, only 49 required assistance from the Redmond, Wash. company's engineers.

Anderson credited prior "incredible work" by the Windows team for the extremely low rate of app incompatibilities.

Kleynhans echoed Anderson. "Generally, customers are not seeing a lot of app compatibility problems," he said of enterprises that have moved to Windows 10. "They've just not bubbled to the top for most customers."

In many cases, Kleynhans added, the incompatibility issues businesses encounter after migrating to Windows 10 do not involve a single application but instead arise from combinations of software, making it even harder to suss out the underlying cause.

"Specific apps are not the problem," Kleynhans argued. "Instead, it's usually a convoluted set of apps run on a night with a full moon."

He questioned whether the App Assure program even covered situations where the problem couldn't be traced to a single application. "I'm not sure if the kind of oddball problems that really exist in the real world would be covered," Kleynhans said.

Kleynhans noted that he had never seen a terms and conditions statement for App Assure and Computerworld was unable to locate one.

However, in a support document, Microsoft simply said, "FastTrack makes every reasonable effort to resolve compatibility issues."

Anderson's blog post about App Assure and other elements of Microsoft 365 was couched in relation to the looming retirement deadline of Windows 7, which will exit free support 14 January 2020, or less than 12 months from now.

"There's an opportunity right now to be proactive about what's next," he said.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftWindows 7Windows 10

Brand Post

What to expect from your IT Distributor

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been around since before the dot com rollercoaster, choosing the right distribution partner can be a pivotal factor in your success. This definitive guide outlines the traits that every IT partner needs to look for in their IT Distributor.

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments