Microsoft releases XP mode RC for Windows 7

Microsoft has released updated bits of Windows XP Mode for Windows 7.

XP Mode is a method to provide better compatibility in Windows 7, and to pull it off with as little trouble as possible. It's also dubbed XPM, or formerly Virtual XP. XPM is built on the next generation Microsoft Virtual PC 7 product line, which requires processor-based virtualization support (Intel and AMD) to be present and enabled on the underlying PC, much like Hyper-V, Microsoft's server-side virtualization platform.

XP Mode will bring a Virtual PC-based environment, as well as a fully licensed version of Windows XP SP3, free for all owners of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate editions. XPM will provide 100% compatibility with Windows XP. So, for you IE6 users, you're in luck. XP Mode will integrate itself with the Windows 7 desktop, and so the older software will run just like a normal Windows 7 application. Essentially, this is two operating systems running under an updated desktop.

Microsoft has made the following changes from beta to RC:

  • You can now attach USB devices to Windows XP Mode applications directly from the Windows 7 task-bar. This means your USB devices, such as printers and flash drives, are available to applications running in Windows XP Mode, without the need to go into full screen mode.
  • You can now access Windows XP Mode applications with a "jump-list". Right click on the Windows XP Mode applications from the Windows 7 task bar to select and open most recently used files.
  • You now have the flexibility of customizing where Windows XP Mode differencing disk files are stored.
  • You can now disable drive sharing between Windows XP Mode and Windows 7 if you do not need that feature.
  • The initial setup now includes a new user tutorial about how to use Windows XP Mode.

Windows XP Mode RC requires RC or RTM version of Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise. It also requires additional 1 GB of RAM, 15 GB of available disk space, and processor capable of hardware virtualization with AMD-V or Intel VT turned on in the BIOS. XP Mode RC is available from the Microsoft Virtual PC site.

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42 Comments

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How is the official setup way in a enterprise scenario ?
Can I create a XP Mode Master .vhd Image with all required apps inside and distribute it to all clients ?

Anyone knows how to set a custom MAC-ID for the internal network card inside XP Mode? I could do it VMWARE by editing VMX file. How to do it on XP mode?

I have win7 v7100 installed. Will this version of Virtual XP mode run on that or only on the RTM version?

Cheers!

"Windows XP Mode RC requires RC or RTM version of Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise."

so i guess, yes

I have an old scanner normally it use a 32-bit twain driver for XP, for Vista I can use a WIA driver (32 Bit) from another model. Will one of this drivers works in XP Mode within Win 7 64 pro?
(Use my old scanner would be one of the reasons why I prefer a Windows 7 32bit version for me)

Question:

Is there a way to access the hard drive / partitions directly instead of having them mounted as network drives?

I ask because I have a very important program I want to use but it doesn't support network drives and under xp mode that's the only way to access the disk :(.

performance is usually horrible for 3d gaming in any virtual environment running in a guest os using any current virtualization software. it's a shame.

Last time I tried this NAT support was broken for some reason. To validate it I tried it under a clean install (updated, drivers installed, ect.). It still was broken. Now Virtual PC and VMWare work under Windows 7 but I don't know if I want to bother trying XPM now.

It works a bit differently than some people are familiar with.
It does NOT work like VMware, VirtualBox, or even VirtualPC 2007 worked.

It loads the guest OS in the background, and then opens an almost "Remote Desktop"-like interface to it. So graphically, it's even less accelerated than you're use to with regular virtual machines.

You may want to enable 24-bit color mode and ClearType fonts for RDP mode in XP (you can use the latest XdN Tweaker to do this easily). This will make XP Mode look a lot better.

XP Mode is great for doing stuff like running 16-bit applications (DOS and Win16) under 64-bit Windows, or running stuff like the 32-bit only Cisco VPN under 64-bit Windows.

XP Mode is one of the reasons why I'm making sure to get Win7 Professional or better (no crippled "Home" versions for me).

Xenomorph said,
It works a bit differently than some people are familiar with.
It does NOT work like VMware, VirtualBox, or even VirtualPC 2007 worked.

VMWare in Unity Fusion or Parallels in Coherence, both do a nice work even better than XP Mode.

pmendu said,
So, 'ClearType' works in XP-mode? I couldn't' get it to work in XP-Mode beta version.

It certainly does. You should check out XdN Tweaker (I hear it's a pretty sweet program). When ran under XP (or "XP Mode"), it will display the option (under "Remote Desktop") to enable 24-bit color and ClearType in XP Mode.

Xenomorph said,
It certainly does. You should check out XdN Tweaker (I hear it's a pretty sweet program). When ran under XP (or "XP Mode"), it will display the option (under "Remote Desktop") to enable 24-bit color and ClearType in XP Mode.

Thank you very much!! Finally Cleartype in XP Mode and the applications inside it.

By the way, anyone knows how to set a custom MAC-ID for the internal network card inside XP Mode? I could do it VMWARE by editing VMX file. How to do it on XP mode?

Kushan said,
How does it handle Hardware Acceleration? Particularly graphics.

According to the link, "Windows XP Mode is specially designed for small and medium-sized businesses to help ease the migration process to Windows 7 by providing additional compatibility for their older productivity applications.", so no, it should not have any graphics acceleration capabilities outside of software rendering.

Kushan said,
How does it handle Hardware Acceleration? Particularly graphics.

If you are thinking about playing games in XP mode i would say forget it

Kushan said,
How does it handle Hardware Acceleration? Particularly graphics.


Well, why not make an extra 20GB extra partition with a barebones XP for those old less-than-1GB games that run in XP only? ...i wouldn't even mind having a non legitimate copy of the OS for that.

fobban said,
Nope, it does not have any graphics acceleration. However, with Windows 7 it is possible to boot from a Virtual PC (.vhd) file.

Yes but that vhd can only contain Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 right now. Kinda pointless at the moment. I wouldn't mind seeing Windows XP or Windows Vista possibilities though.

Since it's a "Virtual PC-based environment", can XP mode be used to test unstable software without affecting the Windows 7 system?

Beaux said,
Since it's a "Virtual PC-based environment", can XP mode be used to test unstable software without affecting the Windows 7 system?

Yes, if it breaks that badly, it will damage the Virtual copy of XP only, not Windows 7.

What I would suggest, though, is that if you're testing unstable software that you build a separate VM in VirtualPC. It's easy enough to do, and you don't risk hosing your XP Mode VM.

No, there is a major bug that will not let you use XPM on systems > 4 gigs and < 8 gigs. I also heard that the i7 architecture is problematic. You might have to wait for the new firmware revision or downgrade to a Quad Core. Sorry... /*S

warwagon said,
Sweet. I think my i7 920 with 6 gigs DDR3 should be able to handle that.

You forgot to put what kind of case, video card, hard drive, and memory cooler you have.

I sure hope my i7 975 with 16 gigs of DDR3 and twin GeForce GTX 295's will handle this */sarcasm*

What do you guys think?

antareus said,
You forgot to put what kind of case, video card, hard drive, and memory cooler you have. ;)

oh ok.

i7 920, 6 gigs DDR3, Case - Coolermaster RC-1000. ATi HD4870 1G, memory coolor - What ever came on the stick.

RobertH said,
I sure hope my i7 975 with 16 gigs of DDR3 and twin GeForce GTX 295's will handle this */sarcasm*

What do you guys think? ;)


that it won't be as fast as my i7 999.

RobertH said,
I sure hope my i7 975 with 16 gigs of DDR3 and twin GeForce GTX 295's will handle this */sarcasm*

What do you guys think? ;)


I think you were just waiting for an opportunity to show off. :-)

Think my HP Z800 Workstation will handle it? You know, 12Gigs RAM, Quadro 5800 with 4GB of VRAM 15Krpm SAS drive...

Ohh, wait... never mind.