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Backwards: Good for Compatibility

Through the wonder of virtualization, Windows 7 now goes with Windows XP hand-in-glove, which is a claim the much-maligned Windows Vista could never make. In other words, the Windows XP Mode capability of Windows makes Windows 7 completely backwards compatible with XP, enabling users to run all their old software on Windows 7. This is possible because Windows XP Mode is a virtual machine powered by a new version of the Windows Virtual PC virtualization engine.

This new version of Windows Virtual PC is designed specifically for small and mid-market business users. It is integrated with the Windows 7 Shell as well as Windows XP Mode setup, and also provides support to many USB devices.

Just as it is the runtime engine for Windows XP Mode, Windows Virtual PC performs that same function for MED-V, which is a product of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance. MED-V is designed to provide IT pros with the capability to centrally manage and deploy Virtual Windows environments toward the laudable goals of reducing complexity, maintaining control and keeping costs low.

Now, onto the caveat: Windows XP Mode will only work on CPUs featuring AMD-V and Intel VT CPU-specific hardware virtualization features. In order to find out if your PC includes the AMD-V or Intel VT features, check with your PC maker.

Looks like Mac has one less arrow to shoot at the hapless PC.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 10/20/2009 at 12:48 PM


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