Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 hits RC stage

Bringing 'Last mile' compatibility

Virtual XP easing the pain

Microsoft has announced the launch of the release candidate of the Windows XP mode for Windows 7 professional, ultimate and enterprise.

Although Windows 7 has reached the release to manufacturing (RTM) stage, the tool that will ease the pain of those worried about the move to Windows 7 from XP has only just followed suit.

"In many cases Windows XP Mode will not be necessary," insists Microsoft.

"Windows 7 has a strong compatibility story with Windows Vista, and many applications that currently run on Windows XP-based or Windows Vista-based PCs should just run natively on Windows 7 – allowing you to take advantage of better performance, better management and better security built into Windows 7.

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"In most cases, we recommend running applications natively in Windows 7. Windows XP Mode provides what we like to call that "last mile" compatibility technology for those cases when a Windows XP productivity application isn't compatible with Windows 7.

"Users can run and launch Windows XP productivity applications in Windows XP Mode directly from a Windows 7 desktop."

Pro, Ultimate or Enterprise

Windows XP Mode RC requires RC or RTM version of Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise along with 5GB of available disk space, and capable processor.

New features that are present in the RC version of the Windows XP Mode RC are:

  • You can now attach USB devices to Windows XP Mode applications directly from the Windows 7 task-bar. This means your USB devices, such as printers and flash drives, are available to applications running in Windows XP Mode, without the need to go into full screen mode.
  • You can now access Windows XP Mode applications with a "jump-list". Right click on the Windows XP Mode applications from the Windows 7 task bar to select and open most recently used files.
  • You now have the flexibility of customizing where Windows XP Mode differencing disk files are stored.
  • You can now disable drive sharing between Windows XP Mode and Windows 7 if you do not need that feature.
  • The initial setup now includes a new user tutorial about how to use Windows XP Mode.