I will start with something of a disclaimer.
I use a printer which is seven years old, and a scanner of even older vintage.
The printer is an aging HP DeskJet 5150, still supported even for Windows 7 64-bit, which at the time of purchase was a definite advancement over what I was using. It was/is quite fast and is economical in its use of ink, and it doesn’t dry out even though it is not used a great deal.
The scanner is a Canon Lide 30 which I hardly ever use, but it is nice to have ‘just in case’. The only reason that it works at all is because I am running Vuescan software.
I haven’t replaced the printer for a newer ,faster, more economical model because it never gets heavy use and it installs seamlessly into Windows 7 64-bit. The scanner was not replaced for a newer model which can scan at higher resolutions because it gets way less use than the printer and scanning stuff at high resolutions results in huge file sizes which defy being attached to emails etc.
OK. An example: The Dell AIO 922..
According to Dell, the printer is not Windows compatible. No Windows 7 drivers were released and a Dell generated chart showed that Vista drivers do not work. Naturally, one assumes that the information is correct and that a new printer is on the cards.
After having bought another printer, to then find out that people in the Dell forums are saying that the Vista driver does work for the 922 if used in compatibility mode and that there is a Vista 64-bit version hidden from casual driver searches is more than a little troubling..
Dell still maintain that some of their printers are NOT Windows 7 compatible, one of which is the 922.. See here..
So what is the truth, and which group is telling us the truth? The regular Dell driver pages show that the older printers are Windows 2000, XP and Vista 32-bit. No mention of 64-bit at all, and yet there is a Vista 64-bit patch produced in 2007 within the Dell Support pages which people in the Dell forums say works. I have to say that the forum posts do not show 100% success and I can’t test anything out for myself because I flatly refuse to purchase anything Dell.
What I do think is that running stuff which installs without the need for hoop jumping will be more trouble free than forcing older software to run, notwithstanding any compatibility mode.