Windows

Video: A demo of XP Mode in Windows 7

ZDNet's Ed Bott shows you how the new XP Mode available in Windows 7 can extend the useful life of your legacy applications and peripherals.

Sometimes an application or piece of peripheral equipment is useful long after the operating system it was originally designed for has been replaced. Keeping these legacies up and running often takes some creative maintenance of older machines running older software.

With a feature called XP Mode in Windows 7, Microsoft hopes to make it easier to use legacy applications and equipment. In this video, ZDNet's Ed Bott, blogger of Ed Bott's Microsoft Report, shows you how the new XP Mode works and suggests a few possible uses for the feature.

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

25 comments
inertman
inertman

i keep hearing about this and still haven't found it in any version up to the current, valid, legal version of 7 i have... i have only tried it in microsoft vmware and was less than thrilled but endeavor to try as i have a few pieces of hardware which are not supported in either vista or 7 let alone 64-bit. i have to think i am missing something. edit: now i've found what i've been missing but i tried the install on 2 diferent 7 machines both ways(one here say virtual machine first, the ms site says xp mode first) and it wont work, i get an error which says: "can't start. stop all other vm instances" even tho its the only instance i use... plase advise.

pbock
pbock

I still don't see the advantage Vista or 7 offers the corporate IT guy. Money is tight in an economic recession, why would I pay more for inefficiency while people get used the new OS that generally has to be run on new hardware when what I already own does what I need it to do????

Colinza
Colinza

I?m running Vista on an HP workstation notebook and i have a few network discovery tools which only run on XP so I have had to install VMware player and create an XP shell in that. The applications perform perfectly well though naturally it does chomp resources. Will this XP mode in Windows 7 provide better performance given its embedded nature and inherent closeness to the primary OS? I?d be interested to try this out. Thanks Best Regards Colin

TuesdayNews
TuesdayNews

I wonder how ESRI ArcGIS runs in XP mode.

Jindai
Jindai

If you already own a valid licensed copy of XP, can you install it yourself as a virtual machine in a lesser version of 7 for an XP mode?

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

IF I decide to use Win7 I will only use apps that are compatible with 7. If I have software, such as editing software, that doesn't have up to date drivers for 7, I'll just use somethign else that does. Unless a hand coded, in house app, there's really no use for XP mode. Almost any other application will have an equally capable alternative that is Win7 compatible. Moving from Vista compatible apps to Win7 seems to be a lot easier than from WinXP. Maybe people should have looked ahead when they were all saying how Vista was crap and they'd wait for Win7. If they can't use Win7 now, they are looking pretty unprepared seeing as they had a long time to think about it and Win7 has been available for developer testing for such a long time now. I guess they'll just say Win7 is crap now too. :D As for the XP Mode, as I absolutely HATED the XP interface, it just makes me cringe to think of running a new, and much better OS and then having a window pop up that emulates XP, ICK!! No thanks, I'll just find new software if I really need to.

jamey123
jamey123

There are a few things to worry about... Will this use two of my CALs on the servers?, Will my AV need to be installed twice?, Can we restrict certain users from accessing this feature but allow it for only certain applications? It sure seems like it might be a lot of work from a schools perspective when we already have strict security requirements in place.

Darren B - KC
Darren B - KC

I tried XP mode and it was VERY slow, even with a Core i7 920. I have some games that don't run correctly on Windows 7, so I was hoping to use XP mode to play them, but XP mode doesn't seem to support DirectX so those games won't work there either. (I get DirectX errors like "Direct Draw blah blah failed.)

paulca
paulca

Unfortunately, many of us will not be able to use XP Mode because our motherboards don't support virtualization mode in the bios.

damon.mac88
damon.mac88

I recently discovered that many of the processors out there does not support virtualization which is required to run xp mode on windows seven. Even some High end processors like quad core from intel wont, so its a pretty sad thing for users who find themselves in such a situation.

firstaborean
firstaborean

I've read a lot of commentaries concerning XP Mode in Win 7, but none of them covers the matter of the Virtual DOS Machine. Still using, here, three DOS applications within Windows XP, and they still do the job well, providing features not available in their supposed Windows replacements. Does anybody know whether the Virtual DOS Machine is included within XP Mode?

BlackFireNova
BlackFireNova

This was a bit too short, and did not define the many conditions required before a person could use XP Mode. The Microprocessor has to be capable of running it. Many versions of Intel microprocessors were released with these critical functions blocked. The system must have enough resources to run it, and other factors may severely limit or prevent someone from using XP Mode.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Will you take advantage of the XP Mode in Windows 7 to extend the useful life of legacy applications and peripherals? What are these legacy apps?

1969mtilley
1969mtilley

Well, that is the position I usually take on whether or not a system needs to be replaced "does it do what I need it to do at an acceptable level?" My position on a new operating system is that the old OS isn't going to be support forever and at some point may not even be available for new systems, so learn it early so you are ready to support it when you've got users on it. The Virtual XP Mode helps with that some by making it when you have to upgrade to it (whether because someone ordered a system with it, or because someone decides that it's time) and you still have external devices or software that will not work with the new OS. XP Mode isn't supposed to be a long term solution, but temporary until the software/drivers needed is available for Win 7 or the devices are replaced just my 2cents

kingcomputing
kingcomputing

With your own copy of XP (Pro or home - doesn't matter) you can create a virtual machine using VirtualBox by Sun (free open source) or the latest version of VMWare player (free closed source). Not sure about Microsoft Virtual PC. In all cases, you start by creating a new virtual machine, inserting your XP media, performing an OS installation and finally installing any required applications into the virtual environment just as if it was a separate PC. The virtual environment simply acts as your PC hardware. The only difference that I can see with this method vs. Windows 7 XP mode is that you must launch the virtual machine and then launch your programs from inside, you wont be able to launch programs from the Windows 7 Start menu. Hope this helps.

1969mtilley
1969mtilley

I have XP mode installed on my system for testing and playing around purposes. After reading the comment about DirectX support, I fired it up and checked and it ran dxdiag. According to the diagnostics, it does support DirectX 9.0c. Civilization 3 Gold Edition appears to run ok under it

cutedeedle
cutedeedle

I have two Intel Xeon dual-core processors, supporting 64-bit, hyper-threading, just about all the bells and whistles you can think of. However, as robust as my server-class system is, it doesn't support virtualization. If you have an Intel processor, download the utility and check, if you think you want to run XP under Win7: http://www.intel.com/support/processors/tools/piu/sb/cs-014921.htm Too bad I have one piece of hardware that's critical to my small business, no drivers for it under Win7, and I'm not going to run out and buy a replacement for the hardware. Why should I when it's working just fine? So long Win7, at least for now.

tripplec
tripplec

Its interesting how they tend to omit the dependancies or system requirements for this as they do for Windows 7 as well. Window 7 does not support a lot of the earlier video chipsets EG. ATI Mobility Radeon 9000. While XP Mode also requires specific CPU be in the system in various families. EG. All Core Duo's are not support. Most high end of each series do but that leaves a great number of systems unable to take advantage of this virtual mode.

Realvdude
Realvdude

although it is not available in 64 bit editions. I ran into this situation when the major PC manfacturers started shipping prebuilt systems with Vista Home Premium 64 bit. For clients that were still using our old DOS applications, I installed DosBox http://www.dosbox.com, though it lacks networking support. You can still access networked resources, by way of mapped drives and ports.

misceng
misceng

I agree the video was too short. I will have to use XP mode for both peripherals and programs which I am sure Win 7 will not handle. Though I will stay with XP until Win 7 has settled down I will eventually have to change so more information is vital to understanding how to get the right PC and set it up.

itpro_z
itpro_z

I downloaded the Microsoft Virtual PC yesterday and now have XP running in my Vista Business 64 machine. One of my users, also running Vista 64, is installing it on his system to run Win2K to support a large format scanner that does not have drivers for Vista/7. While it is nice that Microsoft has included this in 7, those of us with Vista don't have to upgrade for this one feature.

tripplec
tripplec

I think a lot of people are going to be surprised that their systems cannot be upgraded to Windows 7 from XP. Drivers are not likely in the ISO from MS and OEM's have not created drivers for their systems for various subsystems. Two that I have found with two separate systems so far with RC. - Graphics drivers (ATI Mobility Radeon 9000, Only Beta Nvida Go 7600) - Quick key buttons (HP Pavilion has vista driver but will not install on Win7. It does a version check and will not run) If you have Vista system there should not be a problem since MS said Vista drivers are upwards compatible with Win7 but may not be optimized. I can't see paying $130 for an upgrade from Vista on an oem desktop which came with it. I got little use of it and this is a bit like the WinMe which was killed say back then when replaced.

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

I agree that there's no need to upgrade simply for that one feature. However, XP Mode is more than just Virtual PC. It's more like Virtual PC on steroids.

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