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Windows 7 in XP Mode

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Windows 7 in XP Mode

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I'll try to keep this brief, but I'm pulling my hair out, so forgive the rambling.

Just received my new laptop with Windows 7.  Didn't realize there would be a compatibility issue with Quickbooks (currently running on XP) -- why would there be?  Isn't Intuit owned by Microsoft?  Can't they be compatible with themselves?  More "planned obsolescence" to get their hands in my pockets?  That's a different rant.

After some research, I discovered that "XP Mode" exists and went through to the process of making that happen, but guess what?  I have W7 Home Premium version, and XP Mode is only available on the Professional & higher versions.  So, my next thought was to delete W7 altogether and install XP, but my XP disk is just an upgrade disk.  So, it looks like I have two options:  (1) upgrade W7 Home to W7 Professional, or (2) upgrade Quickbooks to a version compatible with W7.  Since any additional money I throw at this will cause me great...  er... let's say frustration, here's my ultimate question.

It seems like when I ordered my laptop, I had the option of choosing W7 with XP downgrade option.  I don't know what that means, but is there anything that Dell is willing to do to help me with this issue for little or no additional cash outlay?  Bump me to W7 Professional?  Provide XP disks?  Is there a download available?  If I had known about this issue in advance, I would have chosen the appropriate option(s) when ordering the machine in the first place, and as I'm learning this is a common complaint, I'm fairly stunned there wasn't a flashing neon sign warning me before I clicked "buy".


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  • Intuit and Microsoft are partners, but even some Microsoft software is not compatible with some Microsoft operating systems.  Software, be it an operating system or an application, cannot stay backwards-compatible forever.  Anyway ...

    To address your "ultimate question" ... you will have to call Dell Customer Care, as this forum is not an official avenue of support for Dell.  This is a forum of volunteers - users like you - sharing their insight and expertise to help others.  However, here is what Customer Care will probably tell you ... you will need to return your laptop and re-order one with the XP downgrade, as the XP downgrade must ship with the computer to be valid.  It requires a special Windows license (identified by the holographic sticker on your computer) that they cannot send you post-receipt.  Otherwise, you would need to upgrade QB, upgrade to Pro/Ent/Ult, or purchase a full version of XP (if XP is indeed supported on that particular laptop).

    Although this is a common problem for QB users, this is not a common problem for Windows 7 users in general ... there are not that many QB users to warrant a flashing neon sign when purchasing a new computer.  QB is also not the only software that doesn't work with Windows 7, so warning of all incompatible software would obviously be impossible.

    I wish I had some better news for you.  Good luck!

  • Thanks for the fast reply Flash.  I was hoping for better news, but what you're saying doesn't surprise me.

    Regarding some of your other comments, I certainly wouldn't expect a flashing "do you have quickbooks?" warning, but when I started researching this issue, I found a TON of gripes out there about compatibility issues (not just about QB, as you mentioned), and that might have warranted something like a "Check Compatibility with Your Old Software" step before committing to buy.  And I know backward compatibility certainly can't last forever, but I'm using Quickbooks 2008 -- Windows 7 came out in 2009 didn't it?  A few years of backwards compatibility would have been nice. 

    All that said, I guess I'm going to pony up for one of the upgrades.  By the time I pay shipping two ways + restocking fees, etc. to get the replacement laptop, it's probably going to be a wash financially.

    Thanks again

  • Ozwalt

      If I had known about this issue in advance, I would have chosen the appropriate option(s) when ordering the machine in the first place, and as I'm learning this is a common complaint, I'm fairly stunned there wasn't a flashing neon sign warning me before I clicked "buy".

    It is a common complaint from people who don't do their homework before purchasing a new system.  No flashing signs. The customer does have some responsibility to be aware of what his needs are, and if he doesn't, he can ask questions. Not only were Windows 7 compatibility lists posted online months before Windows 7 was released to the public, but there are volunteers on forums who would have answered your questions as you researched before buying a new laptop.

    An upgrade of Quickbooks makes much more sense than moving down to an operating system that is outdated.

    Windows Insider MVP 2016 -

    Microsoft MVP - Consumer Security 2006-2016

    Social Media and Community Professional

    I am not a Microsoft or a Dell employee. I am a volunteer.


  • I totally understand your frustration since ms and intuit are partners and please ignore that snarkey comment by the person before me.  Sometime progess isn't so much progressive, right? 

    well there is good news Dell is going to stop offering the downgrade but not until october found this at... found this post below by Andrew, a very intelligent and kindheated guy who has helped me out before this was written on 9/7/10

    you'll still have to call customer support, it doesn't say here it's free but I went to quickbooks website and to download the upgrade is minimum 159.00.  I couldn't find the download for xp on dells site so I'm not sure...but here's their handy dandy support number since your machine is new it should stll be under warranty and no charge for the phone call and to speak to a Dell Tech (boy that brings back memories I used to work in their customer support center in Dallas as a tech...told ya I was old.  you can chat with customer support at this website

    or call this number either way have your service tag number available as that is the first thing support agent will ask for

    your might want to read this one as well  I was too lazy to copy and past both...I'm an old woman, I get tired easy but I think they can help you out if you act quickly and call the support line


    View Comments September 7, 2010 | Andrew Cunningham


    Dell announced today via a blog post that it would be phasing out Windows XP on its new computers this month, ahead of Microsoft’s October 22 deadline. The company suggested that customers still needing to run Windows XP applications do so using Windows 7′s XP Mode feature.

    Microsoft reminded customers in June that Windows XP would not be offered as a preinstalled OS after October 22, though customers still have the right to manually downgrade to Windows XP throughout the new OS’s lifecycle. This loophole primarily benefits businesses without Microsoft volume licenses who are still unready to leave Windows XP.

    Of course, these downgrade rights are only useful if the new machines are properly supported with drivers – many consumer laptops have gone without official XP drivers since Windows Vista’s release in 2006. Dell assured customers that it would continue to offer driver support for XP through 2012. From the blog post:

    Per Microsoft guidelines regarding Windows XP, system vendors like Dell will no longer be able to ship systems with XP Professional and XP Home after October 22, 2010. This means that we will stop offering XP as an option for customers starting this month in preparation for next month’s deadline. One other important thing to note is that Dell plans to continue Windows XP driver support until December 2012.

    After the October 22 date, qualified customers will still be able to get systems with Windows XP … through Dell’s Custom Factory Integration service. Otherwise, customers who order new machines with Windows 7 Professional or higher can run XP applications in Windows XP Mode.

    This move probably makes the most sense for Dell from a business perspective – Windows XP support is beginning to dry up rapidly. Microsoft’s Windows Live Essentials Wave 4 applications will be available for Windows Vista and Windows 7 only, as will the upcoming Internet Explorer 9. Most third-party software vendors are predicted to drop support for Windows XP well before 2014, when Microsoft plans to stop releasing security updates for the OS.

    What do you think of Dell’s decision? Are you sad to see XP go, or is it good riddance for the aging OS? Let us know in the comments!

  • I found some good news for you and posted it to your query but I think I clicked on reply to the snarky person before me and I wanted to reply to you so you would be alerted to check it out as it is time sensitive.   I know how you feel though half my programs don't work, mostly games, so I'm thinking I may downgrade as well, and I did do my homework.  Still it said Vista would run it in xp compatibility mode and there would be no problems...coming from microsoft that in itself should have been my flasing neon light, because SOP for MS is "more things go wrong then right".  Wilted Flower

  • Bugbatter:

    You make it sound like this was an impulse buy!  I did plenty of homework.  I didn't snatch it off the peg board on my way out of Walmart!  But the idea that a 2009 OS wouldn't run 2008 software designed by a company they're already in bed with just never occurred to me.  Since it's Quickbooks, I suppose it should have -- after all, they've gotten famous re: "planned obsolescence", which I guess is becoming the new industry norm, right?  You sound like you're a bit out of touch with the world that most consumers live in.  We've been trained by the tech field for years to expect "Plug & Play" capabilities, and for years that's what was offered.  When I upgraded to Windows 95, no problems.  98?  No problems.  Millenium?  no problems.  XP?  No problems. Now suddenly with 7, I'm getting "you should have read the fine print" or "you should have tracked down the press releases". 

    For the record, I upgraded Quickbooks.  I hate that they got more money out of me, and I'm waiting with bated breath for decent competitor option to come available.



  • Thanks Morath,

    I understand Dell cutting XP loose, because it has certainly been around for a while.  It would be a non-issue if Vista hadn't been such a PR disaster for MIcrosoft.  If Vista had been popular, a heck of a lot more of us would have upgraded at that time instead of waiting for the next version, and XP wouldn't be looked at so fondly now.  All-in-all, I'm of the mindset that Microsoft may be losing the PR war with issues like this.  Their Win7 marketing campaign is certainly helping their image, but my ability to trust them is waning.  And I'm certainly not the only one!



  • Well, it was either give your money to Microsoft or to Intuit.  It was the changes Microsoft made to its OS (that were probably required to fix the nightmare that was Vista) that caused the incompatability, but Intuit also decided to fix the issue in the next version rather than making a fix for the current version.  Many software manufacturers made patches for software that had problems, while others didn't.  As OS's evolve, I don't suspect we will see this improve, but what might improve is the built in (or separately available) features to run incompatible software.  For my experience - with dozens of machines at work and several at home, there are very few programs that will not run in Windows 7 - they exist, but they are few.

    Good luck!