Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 RC Released
Microsoft has announced today that Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 has reached the "release candidate" and is now available for download. While Windows 7 is heavily based on Vista, and many applications and drivers have made the migration, Windows XP Mode serves as a kind of "backup plan" for all those really, really old apps that some of us can't bear to lose. Working much like a VMWare machine, Windows XP runs inside a virtual machine, and the best part is that all versions of Windows 7 that have the XP Mode available (namely Professional and Ultimate) come with a free Windows XP license. It's like having your cake, and running an old program on top of it too!
Features announced in this morning's Windows Team Blog include:
- The ability to attach USB drives to your machine, and have Windows XP Mode see them.
- Being able to boot to a program in XP Mode from shortcuts in your Windows 7 Start Menu (AKA, the "Jump List").
- Being able to enable or disable drive sharing between Windows XP Mode and Windows 7, effectively giving you the option to have Windows XP completely cut off from the rest of your system.
Windows XP Mode requires that your processor has virtualization instructions built in, but as long as your PC is less than two or three years old, this shouldn't be an issue.