Windows 8 Gets Windows 7 Mode

Renée James, Intel’s software chief, mentioned at Intel’s Investor Meeting 2011 at company headquarters in Santa Clara that Windows 8 traditional would ship with a Windows 7 mode. Traditional in this regard refers to the desktop version of the Windows 8 operating system.

Users who are currently running Windows 7 will be reminded of Windows XP mode and wonder if it will be anything like that mode. The chance is that it will use the same virtualization technology to offer access to Windows 7 in a virtual machine.

This raises the question why such a mode is included in Windows 8. If you look at Windows 7 and its Windows XP mode, you could say that it was added to give customers and companies options to run pre-Vista software on Windows 7.

Windows 7 Mode in Windows 8 on the other hand does not seem to make lots of sense on first glance, considering that the two operating systems will be closely related to each other.

There are two explanations for this. First, Microsoft might introduce a feature in Windows 8 that breaks compatibility somewhat, so that some applications may no longer run on Windows 8. Windows 7 mode would then be used by users and companies to get those applications running on Windows 8.

The second option is purely marketing, that everyone can go ahead and buy Windows 8 without waiting for the first SP1 to arrive or to test application compatibility extensively. Why? Because you can run all your apps in Windows 7 mode on the system right away. If you have tested them under Windows 7, you can run them in Windows 8 as well thanks to the virtual mode.

What’s your take on the Windows 7 Mode? (via)

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9 Responses to Windows 8 Gets Windows 7 Mode

  1. Ae Davies May 19, 2011 at 4:30 am #

     I imagine it’s to do with this…
    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2385563,00.asp

  2. evilsushi May 19, 2011 at 5:04 am #

    My theory… I think they rewrote the entire API stack for W8 and broke compatability with legacy applications.  We already know ARM is not going to be legacy compatable, that is a given.  So they probably already wrote new APIs for the ARM stack that are leaner and more effective than the old COM apis.  So why not just move those over to windows 8 Proper.  This would allow a much more modern OS and still allow legacy compatabilty without the baggage.  

    • Sam May 20, 2011 at 1:43 am #

      Yes, we had to rewrite the entire base system. :/

  3. Steven Wabik May 19, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    Windows 7 mode sounds nice in a way, but can they still offer Windows XP mode in Windows 8 Ultimate edition. i think both could be needed,

    Especially if Windows 8 ends up having compatibility issues. of course then i expect Windows 8 to have Windows 7 mode in the professional edition.

  4. Onuora Amobi May 19, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    The whole thing is pretty amusing.

    Especially the part where they instantly lash out and repudiate everything that Intel said.

    http://www.windows8update.com/2011/05/18/intel-exec-was-wrong-says-microsoft/

  5. Vytas May 30, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    in win8 win7 mode you can run xp mode. That sounds like so much fun so they added it.

    • Jerry Li June 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

      lol that would look hella cool maybe in the win xp mode we can run  windows 2000 just for kicks through virtualbox installed on the windows xp mode drive

  6. Pictures June 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    The main feature that was shown is the extensively redesigned user
    interface. The Start menu is replaced by the new “Start screen”, which
    includes live application tiles. The user can return to the regular
    desktop by choosing a “Desktop” application. Examples of applications on
    the Start screen include a weather application, Windows Store,
    Investments, RSS news feeds, user’s Personal Page, and user’s Windows
    Live Account.

  7. James Newbert December 11, 2012 at 3:06 am #

    The XP mode is a useful developers tool. We use it for backwards compatability for websites.

    For example I have checked a website in IE in Windows 8 and there are broken features that work fine in the same browsers using Windows 7.

    In the same way that XP mode was used to check things in older browsers, I am looking to install a virtual Windows 7 so that I can test websites and applications on the different variations that people will use.

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