Command & Conquer Ultimate Edition: How Does It Work?

I have a copy of Command & Conquer: The First Decade, which contains all the old Windows 95 C&C games. Those games could be made to run on Windows 7, but only with considerable tweaking and the addition of an old DLL file. I could not, however, get them to run on Windows 8.1.

Then, they came out with Command & Conquer: Ultimate Edition, which says it’s been reworked to be compatible with modern operating systems. Sure enough, I can play even the original Command & Conquer on Windows 8.1 with no tweaking required.

What I’d like to know is, how did they do it? As far as I can tell, the games themselves are exactly the same. What modifications were made that allowed them to run on Windows 7 and 8?

They all run through Origin, EA’s version of Steam. Origin automatically downloads and installs all the dependencies required (.NET frameworks, etc). However, I found I had to rely on an unofficial patch for the original C&C because when it was originally made no one dreamed there would be monitors with such high resolutions.

I didn’t realize they’d released a version of C&C that would actually work on modern computers. Maybe I’ll have to buy the latest - seems a shame I wasted my money on the last ultimate collection, though.

Gosh, I haven’t played a C&C game in a few years. Maybe I should pick it up.

ETA: Origin, ewwwwwww…

A couple of years ago, they had a special where you could download a few of them for free, and I snatched up Red Alert. Ah, the memories of a bunch of astronomy majors taking over one of the computer labs late at night for LAN parties…