The Difference between Windows XP Mode and MED-V
Article by George Norman
On 10 Aug 2009
After making available for download Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode Release Candidate (RC), Microsoft has come to find out that most customers out there are confused about one thing: should they use Windows XP Mode or should they use MED-V (Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization)? To address this confusion the Redmond-based software giant has provided a detailed presentation of what sets these two software applications apart.

Windows XP Mode is an integral part of Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate and is meant for the small business user. The software creates a virtual Windows XP environment by leveraging Windows Virtual PC and a preconfigured Windows XP; you can run old(er) apps in the virtual XP environment. Support for multi-threading and USB devices is provided by Windows XP Mode as well.


Microsoft explained that in order to get the best user experience you should try out XP Mode on a new PC. But if you don’t want to get a new PC from an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) then the company will make the software available as a separate download.

MED-V is meant to be used by IT pros that deploy Virtual PC at an enterprise level – a big organization, not a small business. It is part of MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack) and comes with features like centralized management, policy-based provisioning and virtual image delivery to help the organization cut down on Virtual PC deployment.

There are two versions of MED-V. Version 1, based on Microsoft Virtual PC 2007, is meant to help organizations as they upgrade to Vista. Version 2, comes with support for Windows 7 and Windows Virtual PC, but the software is not out just yet. It will be released within 90 days after Windows 7 becomes generally available (that’s on October 22).

If you still don’t get it, then Senior Community Manager Stephen L. Rose spells out who should use XP Mode nice and clear here.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 7, XP Mode, Virtual PC, MED-V, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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