Last week I obtained an e-mail discover from Microsoft informing me that, as of January 14, 2020, they are going to now not help Windows 7, which I nonetheless have on one in all my desktop computer systems. Why? Because I’ve some legacy software program that’s incompatible with Windows 8 and 10: dBase III+, Paint Shop Pro 7, PageMaker, a number of graphics packages and plugins—one is the primary model of Andromeda, which gives some superb graphic results—and some different purposes that had been initially DOS-based.
We’re not alone
I do know I’m not alone in clinging to an historical software program program that’s precisely what I want. Allen Bonde, VP and analysis director at Forrester, advised me that, “Where SaaS (Software as a Service) applications don’t have a foothold, we often still see customers sticking with older tools because they see a risk in switching to a newer system, or there just isn’t a compelling alternative.” It’s not simply random people, both, however complete corporations: “There are pockets of this behavior in smaller firms,” Bonde famous, “but also in sectors such as healthcare and government, where we see less digitally mature companies.”
I requested dozens of pals and colleagues, posted inquiries on Twitter and Facebook, and queried a number of dozen earlier purchasers and firms that I’ve labored with up to now: Does anyone nonetheless use legacy software program? Those who did had been usually embarrassed to confess it, however agreed to debate it “off the record.”
If upgrading to Windows 10 out of the blue disadvantaged you of your legacy favorites, search on-line utilizing a phrase similar to, “is Windows 10 compatible with [name of your legacy program],” e.g., “Is Windows 10 compatible with dBase III+.” You’ll uncover there are a lot of websites that specify how one can use your legacy software program with the present variations of Windows.
Here are six packages I discovered that folks simply gained’t give up.
Productivity suite: Office 2003
The greatest, most generally used legacy software program nonetheless in circulation is Microsoft Office 2003. There are complete corporations on the market nonetheless utilizing this model of Office. Why? Because this was the final .doc model that used the Classic menus versus the Ribbon menus (.docx variations).
The Classic menus had been a product of the CUA (Common User Access) Standards developed by IBM in 1987, which decided the person interface for all Windows, OS/2, MVS/ESA, VM/CMS, and OS/400 software program purposes. Equivalent instructions similar to File, Save, Exit, Print, Cut, Copy, Paste, Edit, View, Help, and a whole lot extra needed to comply with the identical design for each program whatever the style.
The CUA requirements made it simpler for customers to study new Windows and OS/2 packages as a result of all of them had related menus, dialog containers, keyboard shortcuts, and so forth. Thanks to this normal, for example, the important thing combos of Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V —Cut, Copy, Paste— had been the identical in Word, Excel, Photoshop, Corel Paint, Quicken, and a whole lot of different packages.
And then Microsoft moved to the Ribbon menu. So many customers hated it that a number of distributors have created “Classic Microsoft menus” add-in packages similar to Add In Tools, UBit Menu, Office Classic Menu, and extra. These add-in packages have their limitations as effectively, however many 1000’s of customers (in line with my sources) say they will stay with the restrictions so long as they’ve the basic menus.
“I use the mouse with my right hand and shortcut keys with my left hand without even thinking about it,” mentioned a colleague from Salt Lake County. “I work twice as fast because I’m ambidextrous on the computer, not with anything else, just with the keyboard and mouse. I can’t do that with the Ribbon menus.”
Other customers have made the identical argument and swear they are going to by no means graduate to the Ribbon, not less than, not so long as the add-in instruments can be found. The software program distributors who make these add-in instruments declare they will hold going robust.
Databases: dBase III+ and Lotus 1-2-3
In spite of the large number of databases in the marketplace right now, dBase III+ and Lotus 1-2-3 are nonetheless broadly utilized by lots of house customers and small companies. (Lotus 1-2-3 is, technically, a spreadsheet like Excel, however spreadsheets are technically, databases.)
The causes offered by a lot of the people I requested are:
- Familiarity with the software program
- Easier to configure and customise
- Uses much less system assets (reminiscence, disk house, digital, and so forth.) and subsequently, processes sooner
- The macros and programming are modeled after the precise instructions.
For instance, in Lotus, /FS is the command equal to File > Save, and the macro command for File > Save. You can simply write macros in Lotus if you understand the menu instructions, no programming expertise wanted—and all of the menu instructions are proper there on the display. Lotus additionally has a macro recorder, which positioned the macro in an “out-of-the-way location” on the identical spreadsheet to simplify modifying.
Macros in Excel will not be really easy. You can use the macro recorder for the fundamental stuff, however you have to know Visual Basic to do something advanced or to even edit the macro. This isn’t any downside for programmers, however on a regular basis customers simply need the software program to work with out the trouble of studying a programming language.
Note: While researching info for this text, I lately discovered which you could configure dBase III+ to work on the 32-bit variations of Windows 8 and 10 by making just a few changes via the Control Panel and Command Prompt.
Graphics: Corel Draw! and PaintShop Pro
Corel Draw! and PaintShop Pro (previously spelled Paint Shop Pro) are nonetheless energetic packages, in fact, however some customers maintain onto their legacy packages to retain particular options and advantages.
Corel Draw!, for instance, gives a whole lot of fonts and 1000’s of clip artwork photos in all of its variations. Many of the older ones are now not accessible, nonetheless. Meanwhile, among the older options have disappeared—or been changed by related options that don’t work fairly as effectively.
PaintShop Pro has related points with the newer variations past 5 and 7. An enormous loss is the animation program, which appears to have disappeared utterly from a lot of the newer variations. In variations 5 and 7, you possibly can create an animation from a single picture utilizing quite a lot of animation results. It was a easy program, however efficient for some purposes.