Windows 7 to Get XP Mode Add-on
Article by George Norman
On 27 Apr 2009
Microsoft has announced that in trying to help users in their move from Windows XP to the upcoming Windows 7 operating system, it will make an “XP Mode” available for download. The add-on, which will be made available for free only to Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate (yet another example of the limitations imposed on low end versions of Windows 7), provides a virtual Windows XP environment in which you can run legacy Windows XP apps.

“Windows XP Mode is specifically designed to help small businesses move to Windows 7. Windows XP Mode provides you with the flexibility to run many older productivity applications on a Windows 7 based PC. All you need to do is to install suitable applications directly in Windows XP Mode which is a virtual Windows XP environment running under Windows Virtual PC. The applications will be published to the Windows 7 desktop and then you can run them directly from Windows 7," explains Director of Windows Enterprise and Virtualization Strategy, Scott Woodgate.


According to Scott Woodgate, a Beta version of XP Mode for Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate will be released soon – no actual release date has been provided – and if you want to get the best experience from the add-on then you are advised to run XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC “on your new Windows 7 PC”.

XP Mode will come in 2 parts:
- VHD package that contains a preinstalled copy of XP SP3.
- An optional Windows update that deploys a Virtual PC 7 variant.
After you install XP Mode, you will notice an expanded VHD in the XP Mode installation folder, alongside a text file with the product key, and some form of license agreement.

It must be said that the Redmond-based software developer has never before relied on virtualization in order to provide backward compatibility. One might be tempted to think that following the Kace survey (which revealed organizations are weary of adopting Windows 7 in the next year – details here), Microsoft is doing its best to get companies on board with Windows 7.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 7, XP Mode
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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