How to get WinRT apps to run on Win7


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26 October 2012

At the .NET Rocks Road Trip event in Charlotte, NC this week an attendee asked if there’d be a way to run the new Windows Store apps on Windows 7.

These are apps running on the new Windows Runtime (WinRT) platform.

Basically the question was whether Microsoft would issue an update so WinRT apps can run on Windows 7.

My answer, which got a great laugh, but is actually serious, is that Windows 8 is the update to Windows 7 that allows it to run WinRT apps.

I acknowledge that this answer is loaded with humor. But I am also serious in my answer.

I’ve been running Windows 8 full time for a few months now, and haven’t run into any issues with Windows 7 apps not working on Windows 8 (except for a couple odd-ball Steam games that I suspect break some Win32 programming rules). All my work software, all my business software, and my important games (Battlefield 3, XCOM, Supreme Commander, L4D2) all work fine on Windows 8.

Windows 8 turns out to be a slightly faster version of Windows 7, that can also run WinRT apps. Hence, Windows 8 is the upgrade to Windows 7 that allows you to run Windows Store apps.