Linked by Stefan Michalowski, M. Sc. on Thu 19th Aug 2004 08:27 UTC
Editorial Lately posted on Slashdot, an article written by Joel Spolsky mentioned the trouble through which Microsoft went to make each version of Windows backwards compatible. In one case, for the game Simcity, they even changed the way memory handling was done when running that application. You can find additional stories of software tricks that recent versions of Windows have to perform in order to run these bug-dependant applications on the web. After reading the story, I discussed with a couple of friends how weird this was and how Free Software completely avoids this problem.
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backwards compatibility
by keath on Fri 20th Aug 2004 14:21 UTC

The main reason backwards compatibility is important to people is that they have generally invested a lot of money in applications, and don't want to lose that investment or be forced to pay upgrade fees just to get back to work.

That concern disappears when the applications are free. All you can say is that it's inconvenient to upgrade to the latest version. Big deal.

Most users want the latest and greatest. Many Windows users would gladly accept pirated copies of all the latest versions of the major applications. The only true barrier to upgrading for most is the cost.