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Microsoft

Windows 7 learning curve made easy with seamless windows

If you are considering the move to Windows 7, the learning curve can be tough. In this blog post, IT Jedi Rick Vanover showcases a way you may not have thought of to make the transition.

I will be the first to admit that I have been a Windows XP hold-out. I have decided to skip Vista for my professional computing environments. While I do use it at home, I hadn't made the switch for work-related computing, initially for compatibility reasons and ultimately for being the old dog declining to learn the new trick. The compatibility statement frequently is not given enough priority -– there are plenty of systems that may not work on the new version of Windows or Internet Explorer for administrators. I have a solution that you may like as well –- seamless XP windows.

I have long been a fan of Sun xVM VirtualBox, a free virtualization package, for various levels of virtualization, and the seamless window function has been a lifesaver for me transitioning to Windows 7. With a seamless window, the virtual machine can be Windows XP running on the Windows 7 host. In this configuration, I have both operating systems available on the computer. While Windows XP mode launches a Virtual PC-based XP virtual machine -– I find myself using xVM VirtualBox anyway and would rather consolidate platforms. Figure A shows a seamless Windows XP virtual machine running on Windows 7:

Figure A

Figure A

Here we can have a separate inventory of software, including Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or 7 (instead of version 8 that comes with Windows 7) for compatibility. You also will have a separate inventory of drive letters configured with the virtual machine and can install a VPN client if needed. I think this is the way to go as a transition tool to Windows 7, as the XP virtual machine can be launched and shut down on demand.

How are you transitioning to Windows 7 for use with administrator tools, ensuring application compatibility and your own learning curve? Share your comments below.

About

Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.

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