Mental Ward

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Windows XP Mode: Boon for AMD?

Ed Bott at ZDNet shares some of my concerns about Windows 7's Windows XP Mode; namely, that many Wintel (i.e. Windows running on Intel processors) computers won't be able to take advantage of the mode due to lack of hardware-assisted procs. It's a worthy read.

I would add that I checked out the processors very carefully before putting in the order for my new laptop. It has a P8700 Core 2 Duo chip, fully virtualization-aware. I discovered, though, that virtualization assist isn't enabled by default; I had to dive into the BIOS to take care of that. It's not really difficult, but your average user just won't know how to do it (BTW, so far, mostly so good on the laptop. I ended up having to do an OS reinstall, when Dell support determined that the factory-installed copy was likely corrupt. That was aggravating, but Dell's support was superb and that helped a bunch.)

I'll be interested to see if AMD's sales pick up as a result of all this. AMD includes virtualization assist in most of its procs, and has for some time. Thus, most off-the-shelf WAMD computers (Windows running on AMD -- I call copyright!) can handle XP Mode. Are enough businesses and consumers interested in virtualization to make a difference to both chip-makers' bottom lines? We'll find out.

Does AMD's inclusion of virtualization-enabled procs make you more likely to consider non-Intel machines? Let me know, or comment underneath.

Posted by Keith Ward on 05/11/2009 at 12:48 PM


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