ITNinja Question

Really (I mean really) beginner 'packaging question...difference between Win8 and Win7?

06/24/2013 2729 views

Sorry for such a noob question.  I'll be honest, I've been in IT for a while but the app packaging thing, well not my area of expertise, not even close.  We're currently going through a Win7 migration (yeah I know, a bit late) and I've got one eye on the future so not only do I want our apps packaged for Win7 (64-bit) but also for Win8 32-bit (for tablet) and Win8 64-bit (for the future perhaps).

We oursource our app packaging and I've been 'lumped' with this responsbility.  I thought it would be pretty straight forward, not a lot of changes required, especially for the 64-bit version of Win7 and Win8 applications.  Our vendor says it isn't that easy.

So, my question here (at last) is: what's the difference between packaging an app for Win7 64 and Win8 64?  If it works on one it should work on the other right

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Community Chosen Answer


Welcome AppDeploy *cough I mean ITninja.

First, Windows 8 tablet, do you mean Windows 8 RT?
Im not sure if MSI's will work on this, but I havent seen a RT tablet yet.

Windows 7x64 and Windows 8x64:
So, my question here (at last) is: what's the difference between packaging an app for Win7 64 and Win8 64? If it works on one it should work on the other right?

If it works on Win7 it will work on Win8, well yes...and no. The vendor is kinda covering his ass, but in essence I would say 65% to 80% of your apps will work OK on Windows 8x64 from Win7x64. You only start getting problems when you start making heavy duty custom installs with via TRANSFORMS, this dosent happen very often with out of the box vendor installs. Most of your issues will come from small time vendors with crap software or bespoke software that your company commissioned. Big software houses such as Adobe and Microsoft are pretty good at moving across to new platforms with little or no remediation - thats if the OS hasnt made a fundamental change in architecture (ie xp to vista).

From a support point of view I would recommened using Windows 8 vendor supported versions, normally it will be one MSI which will cover Win8, Win7 etc. So if you have issues, you are covered from the support aspect, if not, well at least they (management)knew.

To answer your question directly. Personally I been using Windows 8 and I dont think there is much differrent in packaging terms apart from the Start Menu which is now a tiles layout, but in saying that if you still want to create a shortcut/tile - you create it in the same manner as Windows 7 anyway.

Why dont you just test the software on Windows 8 as you test it on Windows 7? As I say "it will all come out in the wash when testing".


Answered 06/24/2013 by: rileyz
Red Belt

  • Sorry, it's not a Windows tablet. I believe it will be a HP tablet or perhaps a hybrid tablet/laptop but it will be running Windows 8 (32-bit)

    Thanks for your response with this, it's really appreciated. For info, most of the software we're looking at is COTS so there shouldn't be a problem. We will certainly be testing as much as possible once our dev domain is up and running properly. Thanks again.

All Answers


Last year we moved from Windows XP x86 to Windows 7x64, we have more than 10000 computers world wide and I was the project leader for Software applications migration. I had to migrate more that 500 applications. The main problem for us was the compatibility with x64 platform.

If you already use a x64 platform then you can be sure that the platform compatibility is OK but I recommend you to test each application on Windows 8 platform before migration.


Answered 06/27/2013 by: terebent
Second Degree Brown Belt

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