Windows XP Mode, a feature in Windows 7 (available to use with Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate versions) is a virtual Windows XP environment that is ready to use with Windows Virtual PC. It is specially designed to help small businesses upgrade to Windows 7 by providing a Windows XP Mode environment capable of running many Windows XP-compatible business and productivity applications.
Windows XP Mode for Windows 7
Using Windows XP Mode business persons can access their custom-made software right from their Windows 7 desktop with a single click.
Therefore, Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 gives you the best of both worlds: the ability to enjoy the many benefits of Windows 7 such as increased security, productivity, and reliability and getting the most out of your old Windows XP applications.
Starting from the very basics, in this first article I’ll discuss Windows Virtual PC and What’s new in Windows Virtual PC?
Windows Virtual PC is the latest Microsoft virtualization technology designed for Windows 7 and is the updated version of Windows Virtual PC 2007 (used to create a virtual environment in earlier versions of Windows). With the release of Windows 7 Microsoft introduced a number of new features in Windows Virtual PC and designed it in such a way that it is now easier to run legacy applications in a virtual software environment like Windows XP Mode:
- Integration with Windows XP Mode setup (Windows XP Mode is a benefit of Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise).
- A new approach that intuitively incorporates Windows Virtual PC user interface (UI) into that of your Windows 7 desktop.
- The ability to use many of your USB devices from within a virtual Windows environment, such as Windows XP Mode.
- Seamless launching of Windows XP applications from your Windows 7 desktop, Start Menu, or Taskbar.
- Clipboard sharing, which enables you to cut, copy and paste data between the host Windows 7 desktop and the virtual machine.
- Printer sharing between the Windows 7 desktop and the virtual Windows environment.
- Drive sharing, which provides easy access to all host data from within the virtual machine.
- Folder integration between operating environments.
These are some latest updates in Windows Virtual PC.
To know the difference between Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode and to download a deployment guide from Microsoft, go here.
Now we will see how to install and use Windows XP Mode in Windows 7.
How to install and use Windows XP Mode in Windows 7
Setting up your Windows 7-based PC to run Windows XP Mode is a simple and straightforward process but first, you have to check whether Windows Virtual PC is already installed on your computer or not.
If you don’t already have Windows Virtual PC installed:
- If Windows Virtual PC does not appear in your Programs list in the Start menu, you’ll need to download it, as well as Windows XP Mode. The download links are at the end of this post. Follow these steps to download.
- Step 1, shown on the page, tells you about the requirement of Windows XP Mode.
- In Step 2, select the edition of Windows 7 which is currently you’re using, and then select your language in the right-hand box.
- In Step 3, when you have finished step 2, click on the blue Windows XP Mode button and follow the prompts to download and install. Once you have completed this, click on the second blue button, Windows Virtual PC, and again follow the prompts to download and install. Finally, click on the third blue button, Windows XP Mode Update, and download and install it.
Windows Virtual PC is a system update, you will need to reboot your computer.
Installing & Setting up Windows XP Mode:
When the installation of the Windows XP Mode setup file is complete, go to All Programs and click on Windows XP Mode to begin the set-up of your Windows XP Mode environment. The set-up process for Windows XP Mode will take several minutes. During this time you are asked to accept the Windows XP License Agreement, as well as to create a new password and whether or not to receive Automatic Updates. Once the process is complete, you will see your new Windows XP Mode environment as a window on your Windows 7 desktop.
Some important considerations:
Working with virtualization technology is the fact that the user has both the physical and virtual PC to maintain. Every PC requires a degree of maintenance including but not limited to keeping the operating system and applications up to date with patches, virus and malware protection, and backup.
Windows XP Mode is pre-configured with the Windows XP firewall and to apply updates automatically from Windows Update. It is not pre-configured with anti-virus or anti-malware software, and both types of security software are recommended.
You can install and run applications within this Windows XP environment (known as Desktop Mode) exactly as if you were running them on a Windows XP-based PC. If you like, you can expand the Windows XP desktop to completely fill the screen (Full-Screen Desktop Mode) by clicking on the Maximize button in the upper right corner of the window.
When operating in Full-Screen Desktop Mode, you will notice that there is a small menu bar at the top of the desktop. This will enable you to access certain Virtual PC functions.