Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC

Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009 11:48 AM by Nathan Zaugg


I have been playing with Windows 7 in my VM machine for a few weeks now and have found it to be amazingly fast and lean!  So what will keep people from making the leap from XP to Windows 7? Application and hardware compatibility of course!  Windows has such a large following now days in large part because of it’s commitment to compatibility between versions of windows.  Compatibility is one of the major reasons Windows Vista has been so marginalized. 

Since Microsoft is not providing a direct upgrade experience from XP to Windows 7, and because Windows 7 is based on Vista technology, it can be quite a sale to get people to convert from Windows XP to Windows 7.  For those in this camp there is some good news.  Last week the Windows Blog team posted a very provocative solution called Windows XP Mode for Virtual PC

Based on the information provided it looks as though they have developed “unity” like features for Microsoft Virtual PC.  This allows a program running under a virtual machine to be moved onto the hosts desktop.  It will look like it is running on the host machine when it is really running under the virtual machine. It can be so transparent that the only way you can tell on the example in the blog post is because of the tool tip on the shortcut.  VMware has had this technology for a little while but my experience with it is kind of mixed.  It is really cool to see your app running on say a Mac, but the user experience is not even as good as running the application in the virtual machine directly.  Still, this technology has real promise.  Citrix, for example, bases their business on this type of technology.  Microsoft’s Terminal Services even has support for application virtualization.

For users who only have one or two incompatible applications keeping them from upgrading, this should be a big help!  That in conjunction with the great product Windows 7 is shaping up to be I can see people migrating en masse

taken from the original blog post.