Windows 7 to include Virtual Windows XP

Ash Nallawalla

24 April 2009


Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott have revealed on the Supersite Blog a new Windows 7 application compatibility feature called Windows XP Mode.This has been confirmed on the Windows Team Blog.

Many businesses have not upgraded to Windows Vista, partly because of compatibility concerns for their legacy applications. Windows 7 (Enterprise, Professional and Ultimate editions only) will ship with a licensed copy of Windows XP with SP3. You can install a legacy app within this XP environment.

There is a catch.

Of course, there’s always a catch. Not all CPUs will support this mode. You need hardware-based virtualisation (go and check your CPU specs now). Intel and AMD have CPUs that have this feature but don’t assume all recently purchased CPUs support hardware virtualization.

My PC is about six months old and has a Core 2 Quad processor – the Q6600 chip. I checked this Intel page to confirm that I’ll be able to test this feature when I get my hands on it:

The next thing to check is for BIOS support on your motherboard. I have an Asus P5K SE/EPU and its user guide mentions Vanderpool support is enabled by default (you can turn it off). Vanderpool was the code name for Intel Virtualization.

Looks like I’m all set. Roll on, Windows 7.

Ash Nallawalla

Search strategist experienced in large, complex websites. SEO consultant.

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