Microsoft on Wednesday released a list of 800 applications it has officially verified so far to run bug-free on Windows Vista.
The list is notable for both its brevity and the absence of many applications popular on Windows XP, although Microsoft and analysts said that the majority of XP software can run, albeit with hiccups, on Vista.
Popular Windows software that is conspicuously missing from Microsoft's list includes Adobe Systems's entire line of graphics and multimedia software, Symantec's security products, as well as the Mozilla Foundation's open-source Firefox Web browser, Skype's free voice-over-IP software and the OpenOffice.org alternative to Microsoft Office.
Software that has been tested as part of Microsoft's Vista certification program to run on all 32- and 64-bit versions of Vista include CorelDraw and WordPerfect from Corel, PowerDVD from Cyberlink, Nero 7 Premium, Trend Micro AntiVirus and PC-Cillin, AutoCad 2008, QuickBooks 2007 from Intuit, Microsoft Office 2007 and many other Microsoft applications.
In addition, Google's Desktop Search and its Toolbar for Internet Explorer have earned Microsoft's approval.
Windows' extensive software ecosystem has long been one of the operating system's chief attractions. But Vista's long beta program last year allowed users to start compiling their own lists of applications that they claimed were broken or problematic on Vista.
Many of those were graphics-intensive games, which was the result of a new rendering engine, DirectX 10, introduced for Vista. But there are also a number of business and utility applications that have not been updated to ensure Vista compatibility. For instance, the latest version of Skype doesn't work on Vista. Firefox does work, though Mozilla has documented known issues.
Most of Adobe's multimedia software won't be officially supported for Vista until the middle of this year, though many applications can run today with minor problems (download PDF).
Adobe, which will face competition from Microsoft this year when Microsoft releases its Expression suite of graphics and multimedia design tools, did not immediately return a request to comment.