Windows XP Mode allows Windows 7 users to run Windows XP compatible applications in Windows 7. The main different between the Windows XP Mode and other software virtualization applications like Sun’s VirtualBox is that XP Mode seamlessly integrates into Windows 7. Microsoft is aiming at day to day users who need to run XP compatible software programs that do not work correctly in either Windows Vista or Windows 7 natively.
A typical virtual environment runs from its own virtual hard drive space. The Windows XP Mode on the other hand will share the hard drive and permissions with Windows 7 including
â€¢ Clipboard sharing, which enables you to cut, copy, and paste data between the host Windows 7 desktop and the virtual machine
â€¢ Printer sharing between the Windows 7 desktop and the virtual Windows environment
â€¢ Drive sharing, which provides easy access to all host data from within the virtual machine
â€¢ Folder integration between operating environments
Here is a quick overview on how to install Windows XP Mode in Windows 7.
The requirements to run Windows XP Mode according to Microsoft:
â€¢ 1 GHz 32bit or 64bit processor or better
â€¢ CPU w/ AMD-VTM or IntelÂ® VT features turned on
â€¢ 2 GB of memory recommended
â€¢ Additional 15GB of hard disk space per virtual Windows environment recommended
- You need to make sure that the processor is supporting hardware virtualization and that this feature is enabled in the computer’s Bios (read hardware virtualization check for more information).
- Visit Microsoft’s Virtual PC Download page and download both Windows Virtual PC Beta and Windows XP Mode Beta
- Install Windows Virtual PC Beta if it is not installed already
- Install Windows XP Mode Beta. This is not the default installation that XP users might remember. It basically consists of a Wizard guiding the user through a series of options and settings.
The set-up process for Virtual Windows XP will take several minutes. During this time you will be asked to accept the Windows XP License Agreement, as well as to create a new password and whether or not to receive Automatic Updates.
Once the process is complete, you will see your new Virtual Windows XP environment as a window on your Windows 7 desktop.
You can now install applications in that Windows by accessing them on a local hard drive or optical drive. They can then be accessed from the Windows XP start menu, desktop or hard drives.