XP Mode Sheds Hardware Virtualization Requirement
Article by George Norman
On 22 Mar 2010
XP Mode is a feature meant the small business users, feature that is integrated in Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate. What XP Mode does is create a virtual Windows XP environment by leveraging Windows Virtual PC and a preconfigured Windows XP. You can run this virtual XP environment on top of Windows 7 to use older applications – applications that worked just fine on XP, but not so much on Windows 7.

But you already knew that. And you perhaps also knew that you need a processor with hardware-assisted virtualization technology (VT) support to run XP Mode. The big news is that this is no longer the case.


Microsoft has updated XP Mode so that it no longer needs hardware virtualization technology to run. According to Redmond-based software giant Microsoft, by updating XP Mode to no longer require hardware virtualization technology, it makes XP Mode more accessible to small and midsize businesses that would like to leave XP behind and move to Windows 7 Professional but cannot do this because their PCs do not come with hardware virtualization technology.

“This change makes it extremely easy for businesses to use Windows XP Mode to address any application incompatibility roadblocks they might have in migrating to Windows 7. Windows XP Mode will of course continue to use hardware virtualization technology such as Intel VT (Intel Virtualization Technology) or AMD-V if available,” explained Windows Communications Manager with Microsoft, Brandon LeBlanc.

The updated version of XP Mode can be downloaded straight from Microsoft here.

In related news, Core Security Technologies has uncovered a new zero day vulnerability that plagues Microsoft's virtualization software. The vulnerability, as explained by Core Security Technologies, allows bugs that are not exploitable in a non-virtualized environment to become exploitable when running in a virtualized environment. Microsoft said it is aware of the situation – it also said that Core Security Technologies doesn’t present an actual vulnerability, “they are describing a way for an attacker to more easily exploit security vulnerabilities that must already be present on the system.” Read all about it here.

Tags: Microsoft, XP Mode, Windows Virtual PC, Hardware virtualization technology
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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