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Microsoft waves goodbye to backward compatibility

Microsoft thinks Windows 8.1 will fix everything. Ha! What it fails to recognise is that Windows 8 was never the problem. I’m more and more convinced that PC sales continue to plummet because people have learned from Windows 7 that Microsoft has given up on backward compatibility.

My Olympus PEN camera will not connect to my Windows 7 machine for whatever reason and I’m getting tired of the incompatibilities. It all began with my Epson RX700 printer, a perfectly good all-in-one printer. Too bad I had to scrap it because it will not work with Windows 7. I don’t like my new printer, an Epson Artisan 810, nearly as much. In fact, it’s so clunky that I’m looking to replace it as soon as possible. But this is not a review of printers. Suffice it to say, Windows’ backward compatibility has taken a back seat at the company.

After the printer fiasco and with no new drivers on the horizon, the reliable RX700 is an orphan. Then comes my trusty Cisco NAS. I don’t know how old it is but it works fine with XP and Vista. Windows 7? No way.

I did some research on the NAS problems with Windows 7 and — surprise surprise — the web is full of complaints. Windows 7 has all sorts of problems with devices on the network. This seems to stem from security concerns. Yes, the best security is to make it so nothing works. Genius!

After digging around I found a nice registry patch that I installed. It worked — or it kind of worked. When the PC goes into sleep mode, it stops working immediately and the machine has to be rebooted to get it to work again.

Maintaining the state of the machine when sleep mode is entered has been a never-ending problem with Windows. Is this problem unsolvable? Just today the reboot didn’t work at all and the NAS drive is offline again. It requires a password but won’t accept the password set for the device.

Who wants to deal with this rubbish? My main computer is still a Vista machine and I’m not interested in Windows 8. I’m sure that somewhere along the line the one guy or gal who cared about legacy gear running on Windows quit the company and everyone else uses a Mac.

Essentially, what you learn when you upgrade is that you cannot keep anything you had before. Cameras, NAS drives, printers — all are worthless. I’m sure I have a lot of gear that will not work with Windows 7, 8, or 8.1. No wonder nobody wants to upgrade.

And more interestingly, what exactly are Windows 7 and 8 doing so differently from XP and Vista that the same drivers no longer work? It’s not as if Windows 7 or 8 are revolutionary changes in the scheme of all things Windows. Both appear to be Window dressing upgrades.

There is no excuse for this.