Run Legacy Apps in XP

By Edward Mendelson  |  Posted 2006-05-31

If you believe Microsofts public relations people, youll believe that Windows XP can run every application ever written for an Intel-based PC, dating back to the VisiCalc spreadsheet that got the PC revolution started in 1981. This claim is almost true, but not quite. Back in the MS-DOS era, from 1981 until the arrival of Windows 95, many programs—especially some of my favorite old games and other programs that use audio and graphics—were designed to interact directly with computer hardware in ways that arent possible under modern Windows versions. Other programs, including some word processors and databases I still prefer, run so slowly under Windows XP theyre nearly unusable. Some add-on utilities I researched, however, speed up legacy applications that run slowly under XP and let you run programs that otherwise wont run at all. (By the way, you can download the 1981 version of VisiCalc at It runs perfectly on Windows XP.)

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