Chapter Thirteen. Backward Compatibility

DEPENDING ON WHOM you ask, backward compatibility is either Windows’s greatest strength or its greatest weakness. The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate some of the efforts that go into maintaining backward compatibility and highlight the obstacles that often stand in the way. More of these types of stories can be found in the bonus chapter, “Tales of Application Compatibility,” available at

Sometimes an app just wants to crash

I THINK IT was Internet Explorer 5.0 when we discovered that a third-party browser extension had a serious bug, the details of which aren’t important. The point was that this bug was so vicious, it crashed Internet Explorer pretty frequently. ...

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