Microsoft removes XP Mode hardware requirements

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Matthew DeCarlo

Posts: 5,271   +104

Along with other virtualization announcements today, Microsoft has updated XP Mode to be less confusing when it comes to hardware compatibility. XP Mode is a free virtual machine package for business-class versions of Windows 7, intended to ease OS migration for enterprise customers. When it launched alongside Windows 7, the software required a processor with support for hardware virtualization, but many users found it difficult to determine whether their CPU had the feature.

Fortunately, Microsoft has removed that requirement, and anyone left confused or stranded with the original version of XP Mode should now be able to use it. "This change simplifies the experience by making virtualization more accessible to many more PCs for small and midsize businesses wanting to migrate to Windows 7 Professional or higher editions, while still running Windows XP-based productivity applications," Microsoft said today.

Users of Windows 7 Professional or higher can download XP Mode, or the latest update: 32-bit, 64-bit.

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Posts: 220   +0
There are so many ways to find out, but as stated end users stranded not knowing what to do. Well this is good and even more than enough reason why not to upgrade to Windows 7. Thanks for the news downloading the update.


Posts: 5,646   +98
Removing VT requirement for XP mode is a brilliant move; as your rightly pointed out it would eliminate confusion; but more importantly it would may end up helping boost the adoption rate of new OS even further; without people having to worry about what may or may not run on 7.


Posts: 19,166   +8,313
Actually, Intel had been complying with the original hardware requirements fairly well, by introducing more and more low end CPUs with virtualization. For example the Pentium Dual core E 6300. The E-6300 sports VT, while it's "big brother" (an earlier release) the C2D E-7300 does not!

But yeah, this makes it a bit easier to justify springing for a copy of Windows 7 Pro, for a PC that lacks CPU VT.

I'm actually still a bit confused, the news blurb says that "XP Mode" was updated, but wouldn't it have to be "Virtual PC" that needed to be fixed? Both maybe....?


Posts: 413   +0
MS taking more steps in the right direction with Windows 7, great to see.

Hopefully this should help increase adoption rates of Win 7 in businesses.


Posts: 2,006   +18
Part of the problem is, at least in my experience, is that most companies who have proprietary or custom computer programs have those same programs as either when they started the company or introduced the software. You're dealing with 5, 10, 15 year old software, so its natural that they are reluctant to upgrade, because those dinosaurs they inflict on their employees might not work.


Posts: 1,372   +17
Good to see Microsoft helping along those who might not know if they can run XP Mode or lack hardware virtualization. As pointed out having backwards compatibility with no hassle should improve selling Win7 to those who were more reluctant.


Posts: 5,646   +98
I'm actually still a bit confused, the news blurb says that "XP Mode" was updated, but wouldn't it have to be "Virtual PC" that needed to be fixed? Both maybe....?

You'll just need to update Virtual PC before installing XP Mode, and you are done :)

Very correct gwailo; hell one of the old payroll systems we still use (as backup for the time being for some weird reasons), is about 18+ years old.


Posts: 102   +0
Hey that is really cool, I did upgrade my hardware just for that previous requirement,but still happy anyway.I was very impressed with XP mode when a scanner very expensive scanner for my business wouldn't work with Vista or W7, without XP mode.


Posts: 19,166   +8,313
I Amuse Rather Easily..........

This development does make it worthwhile to spring for a copy of Win 7 for my P-45 / E7300 machine. Win 7 is worth the price of admission, if only for the wall paper slide show function.
They say if you turn your wallpaper upside down it all looks the same! That's simply not true. :rolleyes:


Posts: 143   +0
Never tried it, honestly I never had ANY compatibility issues with a program that was made for XP that didn't work in Windows 7.


Posts: 20   +0
Microsoft is the only company that thinks about users everyone can use XP also...hahahh


Posts: 19,166   +8,313
Never tried it, honestly I never had ANY compatibility issues with a program that was made for XP that didn't work in Windows 7.
Trust me, they're out there. Oddly though, the old M$ "Flight Simulator 2004" runs perfectly under Win 7, hmmm. So does "DVD Shrink", who'da thunk that.

Anything that MUST use the old file path "C:/" > "documents and settings" > "user" > "application data" can be suspect. Win 7 tricks up the route, but some programs just don't seem to buy it. I have an old CD emulator "Virtual Drive 8" that goes in and crashes immediately, and I don't have the iron to even attempt "Nero 6" in Win 7.


Posts: 43   +0
Nice move, this should be done long time ago, why it should be limited to hardware as it was the case...?


Posts: 143   +37
Too bad that didn't make it possible to run this on Home Edition. That would really bring in more people I think.

I myself run the professional version anyways and I'm running an AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE, so this patch doesn't affect me at all.

Still, great move on Microsoft's part.


Posts: 527   +8
I had a couple people ask me that very question, so i agree that it was confusing. I didn't see anything about what the performance hit might be though.


Posts: 155   +0

I think this is a helpful step though in my experience I have not needed XP Mode at all. Everything that I was running I am able to run on Windows 7 x64. In my case I had upgraded from XP to Vista so I worked through the issues before. I actually use the Virtual PC mode to run other VM's besides XP, such as Win 7 x86 and Mint Linux for testing.


Are you from the F$F foundation or are you a fan of Hanna Montana Linux?
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