Windows 7 will have XP mode

Posted by Minnaar Pieters 30 Apr 2009
Virtual PCWith the ever increasing abilities of computer hardware these days it is perhaps a waste to only focus that power on multimedia or games. How about virtualization? Well, Microsoft is the company to build it into their next operating system.

Whenever a new version of windows is released, the first concern is typically whether it has incompatibility with your current software. While Vista had very few incompatibility issues (except initially driver issues), consumers and businesses still rejected Windows Vista quickly due to "incompatibility issues".

XP mode in Windows 7 will run as a virtualized machine on higher level (iow not those on netbooks) versions of Windows 7 as long as the hardware is up to scratch. There will be no licencing issues seeing as the virtualized machine will not require an additional XP licence as was needed previously with products like VirtualPC (also free) or VMWare. As long as your machine supports virtualized processors like the Intel VT or AMD-V, and you have more than 2 Gig RAM, you can download the free image of Windows XP.

What this basically enables Microsoft to do is to make the uptake of Windows 7 much, much faster than any previous version of Windows. You might think Windows XP is fine (and dare note touch Vista for some reason), but Windows XP was also slow to be adapted by businesses. I can guarantee you that with this functionality businesses will jump at Windows 7, and not do the agreed upon "wait for SP1 route".

PS: I have mentioned before that I think Apple should bundle virtual machine abilities into the next version of Mac OS X. If Windows 7 can do it, Snow Leopard can as well. Think about how many people will go for a Mac if they can run Windows 7 and Mac OS X out of the box, without any additional software?

PS PS: One caveat is the XP Mode will require its own antivirus software as well. So I guess we will never quite get rid of the haunted ghost of XP security issues. For that very reason I might run my apps natively as long as possible...
blog comments powered by Disqus
My photo
I am a R&D Analyst in Stellenbosch South Africa who has a immense passion for all things tech related. I embrace technology, open source and web standards, and I participate and contribute to the social web.