Most of us have many applications that run only on Windows XP but are not compatible with Windows Vista or Windows Seven. It seems that Microsoft has integrated a new feature into Windows Seven, known as XP Mode or XPM. This allows users to run XP versions of a program on their Windows 7 machines without the need for “Compatibility mode” as was the case in Vista. Users will be able to install a Windows XP application, and launch it seamlessly on the same Windows 7 desktop, along side Windows 7 versions of the same application, without actually affecting the core operating system. This allows Microsoft to continue to support Windows XP in a virtualized environment, thus giving legacy support without actually building millions of lines of legacy code into Windows 7. This not only improves Windows 7’s stability and speed, but also security.
It was thought that this was done using a Virtual PC like environment, but indeed it is not so. This XPM feature takes advantage of processor virtualization technologies such as AMD Virtualization™ (AMD-V™) andIntel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT).
Microsoft claims that XPM provides near perfect Windows XP compatibility within Windows 7. What is more interesting is that Microsoft will include a full license of Windows XP SP3 with every copy of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate for use with XPM. Ah, dual licences anyone? Not for me. I’m happy with Debian 5! Its so cool.