Release Candidates Available for Download: Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode
Article by George Norman
On 05 Aug 2009
The development process of Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode is a bit behind that of the Windows 7 operating system, which has RTM’d for some time now, but it is getting there. The Beta versions of Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode were released at the same time that Windows 7 RC was rolled out; but that is a thing of the past as the two software applications have moved out of Beta and are now available for download as Release Candidates (RC).

Windows Virtual PC RC and Windows XP Mode RC can be downloaded free of charge straight from Microsoft – check out the download link at the bottom of the article – so hurry up and get it because when it reaches final status, it will only be available for free to Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate customers.


Windows XP Mode can be used to set up a virtual Windows XP environment in which the customer can run legacy Windows XP applications. Windows Virtual PC comes with the option to run multiple Windows environments in a virtualized manner of course – this includes Windows XP Mode. “Windows Virtual PC is the runtime engine for Windows XP Mode to provide a virtual Windows environment for Windows XP directly from your Windows 7-based PC. It utilizes virtualization technology such as Windows Virtual PC to provide a Virtual Windows XP environment for Windows 7,” explained Microsoft.

Windows 7 XP Mode Release Candidate comes with these new features:
- Attach USB devices to Windows XP mode apps direction from the Windows 7 taskbar.
- Access Windows XP Mode apps via a jump-list.
- Specify where Windows XP Mode differencing disk files are to be stored.
- disable drive sharing between Windows XP Mode and Windows 7.
- New user tutorial.

According to Microsoft, Windows XP Mode might not be necessary after all. Windows Communications Manager on the Windows Client Communications Team, Brandon LeBlanc, explained that “Windows 7 has a strong compatibility story with Windows Vista, and many applications that currently run on Windows XP-based or Windows Vista-based PCs should just run natively on Windows 7. In most cases, we recommend running applications natively in Windows 7. Windows XP Mode provides what we like to call that “last mile” compatibility technology for those cases when a Windows XP productivity application isn’t compatible with Windows 7."

If you would like to get Windows Virtual PC RC and Windows XP Mode RC, a download location is available here.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 7, Windows Virtual PC, Windows XP Mode, RC, Release Candidate.
About the author: George Norman
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