Screenshots of Windows 7’s New Windows XP Mode Feature

A clever new feature in Windows 7 is the Windows XP Compatibility Mode, that will make it easier for companies and individual users to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 because all of their existing applications will work. This will ensure that Windows 7 will be fully compatible with both Windows Vista and Windows XP.

Below are some screenshots of the new Windows XP Compatibility Mode in action, curteousy of Paul Thurrott. Don’t forget to visit our Windows 7 Screenshots page for hundreds more screenshots and also the Windows 7 Wallpapers page.

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15 Responses to Screenshots of Windows 7’s New Windows XP Mode Feature

  1. smilingman April 25, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    I read about this earlier and this is the feature MS needs to get all remaining WiXP user to upgrade and even Vista users.
    Corporations have that final barrier removed to keep using their legacy programs. This can run WinXP programs, should be able to run Win2k programs and maybe even 16 bits.
    I was going to get Home Premium, but now I will be getting the Pro version just for this feature allow.
    I do not think that any serious gaming can be done in this mode.

    • Angelus April 25, 2009 at 9:36 pm #

      This is pretty much already available through the Free Virtual Machine download for windows.
      I have it running reversed right now. I am using windows XP while running Windows 7 in the VM. All this is doing is reversing the process. The problem they have still not accounted for is a rather large one. Hardware compatibility. There are quite a few things that did not like vista, and no drivers were ever made for them to work nicely without a big pain in the neck. This will NOT fix that problem. If anything is hardware dependent, it will not work, even if you can run the program. Since like all virtual machines it does not actually touch your hardware. So that means No games, no hardware dependent programs. And Like I already mentioned. You could DL the VM machine for free from the MS website for a while now.

      • Vigilante April 29, 2009 at 3:45 pm #

        I’m not sure if this will be available specifically for the VM for windows xp on windows 7, but using Vmware you can simply attach a device directly to the VM instead of the host OS. That overcomes driver incompatibility – anything that works on windows xp will work in the driverspace of the XP VM. However, whether that allows things to be shared (I expect so with things like printers, scanners etc, but not more complex devices), remains to be seen. Certainly an interesting thing to test out as soon as it becomes publically available, even if I use Vmware for my virtualisation needs.

      • Al April 30, 2009 at 12:01 am #

        What you’re using right now is pretty different. You’ve got two desktops open in separate Windows. Windows XP mode plugs the application window DIRECTLY into your host OS so you can do everything on one desktop instead of switching between desktops constantly. It’s much more convenient.

        • Vigilante April 30, 2009 at 1:13 am #

          Google “Vmware Unity”. It’s effectively the exact same, except rather than integrating with the host start menu, it creates a button just above it which accesses the virtual machine start menu directly. Any apps you start show up as windows on the host machine.

  2. smilingman April 25, 2009 at 10:19 pm #

    I use VitualBox to run WinXP on Win7 and I have a feeling that this is different. It would appear to me that there is some direct hardware support, how deep it is to earlier to say.
    Drivers support was also one of the reason I skipped Vista, but I have install Win7 on a few PC and drivers support is as good as WinXP.
    Drivers support in this VM would be great even if it does limits overall VM performance and require higher hardware spec’s.

    • Angelus April 25, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

      I have it running already. it is just the standard VM. there is no actual support for your actual hardware. So it is like any other VM in that respect. it is strictly for productivity applications that do not require much memory. So you basically are running a vey base performance machine. Just enough to run windows xp and office like programs. (I am not sure it would run Adobe Software or the like though. Have not tried. As the system requirements for those are a bit higher.)

      • smilingman April 25, 2009 at 11:25 pm #

        I was hoping for more than that. I have some legacy hard I still use and it only run in WinXP.

  3. da watkins April 26, 2009 at 6:49 am #

    Ss does this mean that win 7 will come with Virtual pc, and comes with a FREE win XP Image that, through this wizard, can be integrated into a virtual HD? Cool. Two OSes with one purchase pretty much. That is, if XP is full XP, complete with activation requirements and everything (Preferably the full OS without Activation necessity). So if it is a full OS running on virtual PC, then there is a way to extract that from the virtual HD that you can create, and then somehow convert that into a .gho file or something, effectively being able to image (Read: Ghost) XP to another computer from this??

    I’m thinking too hard and I am rambling. Sorry.

    Just seems that if Microsoft has basically created a version of XP without having to have a CD-key or having to be activated … It would be easy for people to take advantage of this in the ‘wrong’ way.

    • Al April 30, 2009 at 12:04 am #

      No you’re going to have to download it as a standalone application. I love how they’re packaging XP with this because my father who refuses to pay the “ridiculous” amount charged for an OS can finally get a legit copy ^_^

      You’re only paying for 7 and you can DOWNLOAD the modified Virtual PC along with an XP license if you have the right SKU (Professional or higher). I think you can convert into a ghost image but have you installed a Virtual OS before? It’s much faster than a regular OS install.

      I don’t think MS cares if people pirate/bootleg/steal/burn/whatever with XP anymore with this attitude. When Windows 7 comes out, it will be the “cool” thing to get, I think everyone will be focusing on pirating Windows 7 instead xD.

  4. Rod MacPherson April 27, 2009 at 1:07 pm #

    It is just a VM with XP installed, the unique feature is the free XP license.

    This is great news for a lot of businesses.

    As far as the CD key requirement goes, since it has to be downloaded, I would imagine that part of the process it registering for the download and having Microsoft e-mail you a CD key (one per Win7 CD-key that you give them)

    Whatever you can dream up for how this might be misused, trust me, Microsoft has already thought of that. Given that XP will be 2 versions old by the time this is widely available, maybe they decided they don’t care, but I’m sure they have already come up with all the ways it might be abused and ways they might prevent that.

    There are lots of places to get XP that doesn’t require activation already.

  5. April 28, 2009 at 3:20 pm #

    hi, nice report,

    how to trackback to this article? i am using your jpgs. please let me know.

    • Everton April 28, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

      thx for asking – use the main post url

  6. Albert April 30, 2009 at 12:05 am #

    Just wondering if you guys asked PT directly to use these screenshots or if it’s ok to just source him and use them?

  7. Aaron West June 9, 2009 at 11:46 pm #

    Wait they made a MS version of Wine for Windows 7 lol

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