Windows 7: Now With Windows XP!

By  |  Friday, April 24, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Windows 7How can you ensure that Windows 7 will run Windows XP applications? Make it run Windows XP. That’s the idea behind Windows XP Mode, a free download that Microsoft will make available to buyers of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate. (Here’s Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurott’s report on it.) It’s a copy of the next generation of Microsoft’s Virtual PC virtualization software that’s been pre-bundled with Windows XP, and which lets you run XP apps within Windows 7 as if they were native 7 ones–seamlessly, in theory. Sounds a bit like the experience of using VMWare Fusion’s Unity feature or Parallels Desktop’s Coherence one to make Windows apps show up in OS X.

You gotta hope that there are relatively few instances when Windows 7 won’t be able to run an XP app natively, but this sounds like a useful security blanket, especially for companies that run custom apps. It’s also a sign of the ongoing relevance of Windows XP. Sounds like a smart, inventive move on the part of Microsoft.


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8 Comments For This Post

  1. Marc Says:

    Such a good idea.
    I wonder if old drivers can make use of this, or is it just application software?
    I remember having an old scanner and FireWire web cam that would only work using classic mode on my Mac – which was fine as I only ever used classic apps with them.

    Most non-driver compatibility problems with Vista can be fixed by turning off UAC, not having to do that would be great.

  2. Backlin Says:

    Well, this is a pleasant turn of events. I was going to run a XP virtual machine in VMWare Workstation for my super-old-school apps, but now I don’t need to! Awesome!

  3. Sarah Says:

    Love this backwards-compatibility feature. 🙂

  4. Tom B Says:

    Gee whiz. Dod they add a Vista mode, for kicks.

  5. pond Says:

    “smart, inventive move”

    Yes it’s smart, but it’s only what Apple has done (twice now!) and it’s only what a lot of us have been begging MSFT to do for years now.

    Let’s hope they get even more ‘inventive’ and make Windows8 from a totally clean slate with built-in virtual Win7 (or XP, if Win8 does come out next year).

    The last ‘new generation’ OS was BeOS from over a dozen years ago. That was before multimedia became what it is now, before the internet, before HDTVs as monitors, etc.

    Make a clean start. Develop a truly ‘modern’ OS and leave all legacy compatibility to a virtual machine during the transition.

  6. David Worthington Says:


  7. Darrell Ward Says:

    I am more concerned about expensive Cad software, i.e HFSS, ADS, Aginet and Microwave Office…Not game and pictures

  8. slym Says:

    Its really great that Microsoft have come up with new windows 7, which is loaded with features and takes less memory and enables fast processing, but I would like to wait for some time and then proceed for the upgrade once i it gets reviewd by the real users and not the delicate ones at MS premises, I dont want myself left frustrated once again as was the case with Vista.

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