Older programs might not always work with Windows XP. You might have a favorite application that worked great under Windows 95, but the software vendor has since gone out of business, and they have not released a version for the XP platform.
Not to worry. A great XP feature called Application Compatibility lets you run programs using automated settings that make XP behave, as least as far as the application is concerned, a lot more like older Windows versions.
To run a program in Application Compatibility mode, follow these steps:
Click Apply to commit the changes. You can also select from one of several display settings, although this is not required. However, many games and educational titles written for the MS-DOS or Windows 95 platform can only use 256 colors.
Now, every time you use the shortcut to launch the program, XP "fools" the app into thinking it's running on whatever version of Windows you specified.
An alternate approach is to run the Program Compatibility Wizard. This is a Help and Support Center utility that essentially does the same thing. To launch it, choose the Start Menu | All Programs | Accessories | Program Compatibility Wizard.
You'll be able to figure it out from there. You can choose from a Microsoft-generated list of programs or locate the program manually. Once you select the program, set the compatibility mode with the dialog box shown in Figure 14-5.
Figure 14-5. The Program Compatibility Wizard also configures compatibility.