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Microsoft: Windows 7 ''XP Mode'' Finalized

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 20 comments

Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 has "gone gold" and will be availabe alongside the new OS later this month.

Microsoft announced earlier today that it has completed the development--or rather "finalized the code"--of the virtualized version of Windows XP for the upcoming Windows 7 operating system hitting shelves later this month. Windows XP Mode, free to those who purchase or upgrade to Windows 7, will allow end users the ability to execute programs that currently will not work on the newer OS.

"We expect many Windows XP applications to be compatible Windows 7 however Windows XP Mode is meant to serve as an added safety net so small and mid-sized businesses can migrate and run Windows 7 without any road blocks," said Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc. "Windows 7 Professional is designed to meet the needs of small and mid-sized businesses."

According to the company, XP Mode will be available on October 22, the same street date as Windows 7. However, the software (or virtualization layer) will only work on certain versions of Windows 7: Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate. Consumers will also need a machine with chip-level virtualization support activated, however not all PCs offer this type of hardware support.

LeBlanc also added that OEMs will be able to offer Windows XP Mode on their PCs based on their manufacturing schedules. To learn more about what Windows XP Mode offers in the features department, check out LeBlanc's older post here.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    dravis12 , October 2, 2009 12:25 AM
    wildwellAlright. Now there's no excuse for people not to upgrade, other than the $300.


    $100 for 7Pro OEM is no excuse at all.
  • 12 Hide
    njkid3 , October 2, 2009 12:43 AM
    i am sure glad i have an AMD cpu cause i know xp mode is going to work.
  • 10 Hide
    opmopadop , October 2, 2009 1:50 AM
    Vista> Im not new anymore, now no-one will buy me.
    Windows 7> Format Vista.
    DOS> Hehe, Im still here loosers.
Other Comments
  • -2 Hide
    wildwell , October 2, 2009 12:15 AM
    Alright. Now there's no excuse for people not to upgrade, other than the $300.
  • 12 Hide
    dravis12 , October 2, 2009 12:25 AM
    wildwellAlright. Now there's no excuse for people not to upgrade, other than the $300.


    $100 for 7Pro OEM is no excuse at all.
  • 12 Hide
    njkid3 , October 2, 2009 12:43 AM
    i am sure glad i have an AMD cpu cause i know xp mode is going to work.
  • 4 Hide
    one-shot , October 2, 2009 12:46 AM
    All this hype has made me feel my Vista x64 SP2 is vastly inferior. I may have no choice but to upgrade. :) 
  • 4 Hide
    Kelavarus , October 2, 2009 1:13 AM
    I beg to differ. Granted, I've already got a free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium.

    BUT, it's only for Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate, and it's for "Productivity Programs". If there was a game that worked on XP but not on 7, AFAIK, you're still screwed.
  • 10 Hide
    opmopadop , October 2, 2009 1:50 AM
    Vista> Im not new anymore, now no-one will buy me.
    Windows 7> Format Vista.
    DOS> Hehe, Im still here loosers.
  • 0 Hide
    silversurfernhs , October 2, 2009 4:05 AM
    they can't be that ignorant... people will get it to run on HP and starter editions in no time; that or VMware it with their own copy... right?
  • 0 Hide
    aford10 , October 2, 2009 5:46 AM
    There's a lot of hype with windows7...here's hoping the final results are up to snuff.
  • 0 Hide
    daggs , October 2, 2009 5:57 AM
    opmopadopDOS> Hehe, Im still here loosers.


    :D 
  • 0 Hide
    ravewulf , October 2, 2009 6:39 AM
    I wish they would make it available sooner as some of us already have Win7 RTM through MSDN-AA (and other similar LEGAL methods)
  • 0 Hide
    ravewulf , October 2, 2009 6:48 AM
    KelavarusIf there was a game that worked on XP but not on 7, AFAIK, you're still screwed.

    On some games the compatibility mode in Vista and Win7 can get older games working (look in the properties panel for the .exe after right-clicking it). In some cases you may additionally have to put an old dll from XP in the install folder of the game to get it to work (d3drm.dll is needed for the old Lego Island game to work). Doesn't work in all cases, but it does fix a few of them.
  • 0 Hide
    zelog , October 2, 2009 7:06 AM
    opmopadopVista> Im not new anymore, now no-one will buy me.Windows 7> Format Vista.DOS> Hehe, Im still here loosers.


    made my day :D 
  • 1 Hide
    Regulas , October 2, 2009 12:16 PM
    Yup, this XP mode has already been revealed that it is not gamer friendly, just business. Why, I ask? Damn companies anyway.
    Owe well, I will keep XP on a separate HD for my older games, probably better off that way. Will go with the 64bit flavor of 7 when I finally get it. I'm in no rush, I use Windows for gaming only, Linux for everthing else. When a game comes out I want and it won't run on XP or will run better on 7 then I will get 7 and another HD for it to stuff in my Q9650, GTX 285 rig.
  • 0 Hide
    skykaptain , October 2, 2009 12:29 PM
    I've been using XP mode for a while but I don't feel a need to use it too much. Every thing has worked great in 7 Pro.
  • 0 Hide
    eyemaster , October 2, 2009 1:41 PM
    njkid3i am sure glad i have an AMD cpu cause i know xp mode is going to work.


    Now, I know my AMD PhenomIIx4 supports this, but wouldn't it be foolish for Intel to not support this? What makes you think you're safer than people with Intel?

    So, with this news, does it mean that I was worried for nothing? I have build 7100 at home and I can't run CnC Generals or Zero Hour in compatibility mode. I hope the final Win 7 with compatibility support will let me run those games.
  • 0 Hide
    njkid3 , October 2, 2009 3:47 PM
    eyemasterNow, I know my AMD PhenomIIx4 supports this, but wouldn't it be foolish for Intel to not support this? What makes you think you're safer than people with Intel?So, with this news, does it mean that I was worried for nothing? I have build 7100 at home and I can't run CnC Generals or Zero Hour in compatibility mode. I hope the final Win 7 with compatibility support will let me run those games.


    well i know im safer because lets just focus on the core 2 quad lineup only a percentage support the virtualization necessary to run xp mode and the same goes for every other intel processor family except the core i's, so its kinda hit and miss to find a chip with the virtualization support required, while all of the AMD's that have come out in the past several years have supported the virtualization necessary to run xp mode so i do take some comfort knowing that the AMD's support xp mode.
  • 0 Hide
    HolyCrusader , October 2, 2009 4:18 PM
    Some info on XP Mode, Virtualization, and my own experiences with it so far.

    XP Virtualization mode is simply a refined version of Microsoft's own "Virtual PC". For those people that are still only using Vista, you can use the latest version of Virtual PC (2007) to get much of the same functionality of XP Mode. I believe this will also work with Windows 7 Home Premium, but I can't confirm that personally. With Virtual PC, You loose integration features and USB support, but it still works reasonably well. Also, it'll be a little more difficult to set-up since you won't be able to download a "pre-compiled" virtual machine. You will will have to set-up the virtual machine yourself, and have your old XP Install disks handy.

    You can run games in "XP Mode" as long as it does not require 3D Hardware acceleration. To date, I've run Arcanum, Kohan, and Baldur's Gate II in either XP Mode or Virtual PC 2007. They didn't always play perfectly (Arcanum ran a little slow, Kohan had some minor screen flickering), but they were very playable. Speed is the biggest problem with any sort of virtual machine - since you're effectively running a computer inside of a computer.

    I wonder if C&C Generals might suffer the same problem that I had with Neverwinter Night 2. With the Windows7 RC-7100 build, there was a small bug in the new DirectX tool that prevented some games from detecting the computer's 3d hardware. This bug is resolved in later builds of Windows 7, so there's a good chance that the few games that didn't run in Windows 7 RC will work just fine on the RTM version.
  • 0 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , October 2, 2009 5:30 PM
    Why is it that I have to turn virtualization on my AMD cpu's in the BIOS? Is there a reason that the defaults leave it off?
  • 0 Hide
    darkxuy , October 2, 2009 7:14 PM
    False_dmitry_iiWhy is it that I have to turn virtualization on my AMD cpu's in the BIOS? Is there a reason that the defaults leave it off?


    For compatibility sake, because some CPUs don't support it
  • 0 Hide
    silversurfernhs , October 3, 2009 5:28 PM
    For those that won't make use of the XP Mode for business purposes, it might be advantageous to use it for security, like for instance as a sandbox for files and new software... That is how i use it, and its saved my but a few times, being a heavy downloader.