Windows XP Mode in Windows 7
Windows XP Mode (formally Virtual XP) is a new feature in Windows 7. It’s a licensed, virtualized copy of Windows XP Service Pack 3 running inside Microsoft’s own Virtual PC framework. 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.
When I heard about this feature I thought “what’s new in this? We can install other OS using MS Virtual PC or VM ware”. But now I understand why this is a new feature.
The core of XPM are Virtual PC 7 (VPC) and the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) protocol. 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.
Client virtualization software, like Windows Virtual PC is a pre-requisite to use Windows XP Mode. So first I installed a Windows update – Windows Virtual PC (Beta)(KB958559) : Windows Virtual PC (Beta) is the latest Microsoft virtualization technology that allows you to run many productivity applications on a virtual Windows environment, with a single click, directly from a Windows 7-based PC.
After rebooting my system, I installed Windows XP Mode Beta . It’s a single executable file, 445MB of size. Installation was straight forward, need to set only few setting like where you want to install, password etc. If anybody tried installing XP or any other operating system using MS Virtual PC or VMWare or any other virtual achine in any other operating system, you know that that installation is just like normal OS installation, have to set all those settings, need normal installation time etc etc. Also after installationn you need to allocate a good amount of RAM and other system resources for the virtual machine, which degrades overall system performance. But Windows XP Mode surprised me.
Installation took only few minutes and launched XP. It is so fast, and taking only very less system resource, just like a normal medium windows application. Since it uses Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) protocol, the interface is little different from previous Virtual Machine mode, it’s like lognined into an XP machine using Windows Rremote Desktop application.
Now if you want to use XP machine, you can install Windows 7 with Windows XP Mode 🙂