Windows developers take note: Microsoft has announced it plans to ship a toolkit for testing users' applications for compatibility with Windows 7 next month.
The news was in buried in an online Q &A posted Monday.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has had versions of its Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) for years. Now, as the company gets closer to releasing Windows 7, Microsoft officials are putting the other pieces in place, including a version of ACT for Windows 7.
Interestingly, Microsoft also said it plans to ship an ACT update for Windows 7 compatibility testing at the same time it's reported to be planning to unwrap the first "release candidate" for Windows 7.
"We plan on releasing an update to the Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) in April to support Windows 7 pre-releases. There will also be a version corresponding with Windows 7 release to manufacturing (RTM)," the online document says.
To date, Microsoft officials have been mum on when Windows 7 will be RTMed. However, InternetNews.com reported in September that RTM may come as early as June 3.
Microsoft shipped ACT version 5 for Windows Vista in September.
In fact, Microsoft also has an ACT for Internet Explorer 8.
The purpose for the ACT is so that users and IT staff can test their own applications particularly custom written ones.
Microsoft's Q&A has one caveat, however. Developers and testers who have stayed on Windows XP while waiting for Windows 7 thus skipping Vista may have more work to do.
"Since Windows Vista and Windows 7 share similar design frameworks, there is a foundation for application compatibly. Since Windows XP has a different framework, the levels of application compatibility are not the same," the Q&A says.
This article was first published on InternetNews.com.