Cloudpaging can be used to migrate legacy 32-bit applications and even some 16-bit applications onto newer Windows platforms, such as Windows 7 or 10. Cloudpaging helps by removing the installation process, abstracting file paths and registry hives, templatizing shortcuts, supporting Windows compatibility mode, and providing configurable actions. To understand how Cloudpaging deals with packaging legacy applications, it is important to understanding how the Windows operating system has evolved, which I explained previously.
To briefly recap the barriers mentioned in “Why Migrating Legacy Apps to Windows 10 is Difficult,” Windows was originally a 16-bit environment running only 16-bit software. With time the Windows operating system went to 32-bit and then 64-bit. The 32-bit version of Windows could run both 16-bit and 32-bit applications. However, with Windows 64-bit OS versions, they can run 32-bit and 64-bit programs, but not 16-bit applications. Some applications installers do include both 16-bit and 32-bit versions and these applications can work on 64-bit operating systems. But if the application installer is 16-bit or the application is 16-bit, then these applications can no longer work on 64-bit systems. In addition, applications may appear to be 32-bit with a Win32 GUI and all the window dressing of a 32-bit Windows application, but some 32-bit applications call 16-bit components. Finally, many 32-bit legacy applications have hardcoded paths and shortcuts that are now incompatible with newer 64-bit Windows versions.
Cloudpaging implements a true file system driver, or FSD, at the Windows Kernel level. It is this Numecent file system that remains consistent from Windows platform to platform, along with abstraction, templatization, and a writable sandbox, that enables Cloudpaging to migrate many applications that would otherwise not function on newer Windows OS’s. The writable sandbox is especially handy in allowing the legacy applications to write in legacy locations where modifications are normally not allowed under the newer Windows versions. Cloudpaging is not a platform emulator, meaning that if an application developed to run on Window XP, or earlier, calls a function that has become unavailable or depreciated on a later Windows version (e.g. Windows 7 or 10), our technology cannot help without an emulator. Cloudpaging depends on the operating system to execute the application, if the application doesn’t natively run on the system, then virtual apps will run into the same error. While the above barriers cannot all be overcome, there are many scenarios where Cloudpaging can successfully package legacy applications:
- Legacy applications that hardcode file paths or registry hive locations
- Legacy applications that need Windows Compatibility mode or Isolation
- Legacy applications that use a 16-bit installer or cannot install on newer Windows versions
- 16-bit legacy applications that need an emulator (such as DOSBox with the virtualized application) for 64-bit systems
Cloudpaging enables the ability to migrate legacy applications to new Windows platforms.