Monday, April 27th 2009

Windows 7 to Pack Virtual Windows XP

Across generations of its Windows operating systems based on the NT architecture, Microsoft has been courteous enough to pack application compatibility layers that let users run applications in compatibility modes for older versions of the OS. The company seems to be taking this to the next level with Windows 7. The release candidate of the OS slated for April 30, will pack an "XP mode" virtualization feature. The feature quite literally runs a Windows XP environment inside a sandbox complete with support for applications such as Internet Explorer 6, etc.

The environment will work on a virtual machine created by Windows 7. Native Windows XP applications you install in the environment, along with your documents and settings will further be accessible from the host OS. Client variants of Windows 7 may feature a Hyper-V hypervisor that handles applications such as these. The feature makes Windows 7 especially something to look forward to, for those complaining lack of Windows XP features. In short, it's the OS some probably clung onto, and refused to move to Vista, running as an application.


Sources: CrunchGear, betanews
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75 Comments on Windows 7 to Pack Virtual Windows XP

#1
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Many Thanks to CrAsHnBuRnXp for sending this in.
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#2
Mussels
Moderprator
i'd been expecting this all along, its an obvious way for microsoft to get people to move to a new OS without worrying about compatibility.
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#3
Weer
People don't care about compatibility. They care about stability and speed.

I thought the whole point of Windows 7 was to be a more stable and faster Windows Vista so that the entire "Vista sux, stik with XP" crowd can finally be put to rest.

That being said, Windows 7 beta has serious compatibility issues even with Windows Vista-compatible applications (Skype doesn't even work).
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#4
aCid888*
Very nice news....shame the RC's dont feature this as one may be worth installing and testing out. :toast:
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#5
Mussels
Moderprator
by: Weer
People don't care about compatibility. They care about stability and speed.

I thought the whole point of Windows 7 was to be a more stable and faster Windows Vista so that the entire "Vista sux, stik with XP" crowd can finally be put to rest.
i think its more for the business environment where they may have custom applications that wont work on anything but XP.
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#6
Weer
by: Mussels
i think its more for the business environment where they may have custom applications that wont work on anything but XP.
You've not heard of the loud, annoying people who claim that XP is better than Vista?

I've not heard of any business applications that won't work in Vista. In any case, that would be only a small amount of customers. We're talking about home editions anyway.
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#7
Mussels
Moderprator
by: Weer
You've not heard of the loud, annoying people who claim that XP is better than Vista?

I've not heard of any business applications that won't work in Vista. In any case, that would be only a small amount of customers. We're talking about home editions anyway.
i've worked in tons of places where they hired someone (usually a uni student) to write software for them, and they've nearly always taken a million shortcuts and it only works on the one OS.
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#8
DanishDevil
Well I definitely know that all the programs we run at school on the school computers are XP only, or they would have to spend thousands to get the new version that would run in Vista.
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#9
Weer
Okay, well, as far as I know most of the business applications I've used have worked with Vista.

But, I'm talking about the private sector, that make up most of the sales and the consumer base, because the argument is that Vista is slow and unstable, not incompatible.
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#10
Woody112
by: Weer
You've not heard of the loud, annoying people who claim that XP is better than Vista?

I've not heard of any business applications that won't work in Vista. In any case, that would be only a small amount of customers. We're talking about home editions anyway.
A lot of companies spend a substantial amount of money on business management software tailored to their own business.
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#11
Mussels
Moderprator
you're forgetting the most important thing... the people who think vista is slow and nasty are the ones dumb enough to think a virtual XP will still be faster than vista :)
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#12
uber_cookie
Recession is forcing Microsoft to release fully functioning products ;)
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#13
Live OR Die
You missed this part out it dosent come with the os its a free download

Paul Thurrott provides an in depth description of the feature:

XP Mode consists of the Virtual PC-based virtual environment and a fully licensed copy of Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3). It will be made available, for free, to users of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions via a download from the Microsoft web site. (That is, it will not be included in the box with Windows 7, but is considered an out-of-band update, like Windows Live Essentials.) XPM works much like today’s Virtual PC products, but with one important exception: As with the enterprise-based MED-V (Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization) product, XPM does not require you to run the virtual environment as a separate Windows desktop. Instead, as you install applications inside the virtual XP environment, they are published to the host (Windows 7) OS as well. (With shortcuts placed in the Start Menu.) That way, users can run Windows XP-based applications (like IE 6) alongside Windows 7 applications under a single desktop.
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#14
lemonadesoda
Wow. This is a GREAT feature. True compatitibily rather than semi-compatible profiles.

Does this allow 32bit XP to run in Win7-64? Great!

Does this mean MS will supprt XP a little bit longer with security updates and patches? Great!
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#15
Tau
by: Weer
Okay, well, as far as I know most of the business applications I've used have worked with Vista.

But, I'm talking about the private sector, that make up most of the sales and the consumer base, because the argument is that Vista is slow and unstable, not incompatible.
Sure vista is slow when you run it on a P4 with a gig of ram. Put it on a decently fast machine and it flys... faster than XP in some cases.
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#16
Esse
by: Weer
That being said, Windows 7 beta has serious compatibility issues even with Windows Vista-compatible applications (Skype doesn't even work).
Fault on your side then. I use Skype every other day on Windows 7 v7022.

No compatibility issues I just installed and used it as normal. The only program that hasn't worked for me was an anti-cheat program for an MMO :rolleyes: (they wont fix it till 7 actually comes out).
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#17
Mussels
Moderprator
skype works for me 24/7 on build 7000
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#18
Gzero
by: Tau
Sure vista is slow when you run it on a P4 with a gig of ram. Put it on a decently fast machine and it flys... faster than XP in some cases.
Yes because everyone knows what a decent machine is...

Windows 7 having this as an extra doesn't persuade anyone to switch from XP to win 7, actually it's for the Vista crowd, think about it. ;)

I do like Win 7, however disagree with the pricing and class system. Why should there be a business, professional, or ultimate version? That just pushes up development time and costs, and can be reflected in the price and the amount of patching.

I don't have a solution for making a stable and cheap OS, but teasing customers the way Microsoft do is dangerous with linux/unix flavours catching up and Mac OS becoming more popular (it feels like everywhere I look these crazy Mac people are telling me about how great Apple's products are!).
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#19
eidairaman1
this is a nice feature, but they better get the virtualization right for AMD and Intel otherwise this will be a complete and utter waste of time
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#20
tomkaten
I think I read somewhere it will require Hardware Virtualization, so tough luck for those running E 4xxx Core2 Duos and others that don't support that. What will it do on those processors, I wonder ? Not run ? Still run but with limited functionality ? Will have to wait and see.

I also wish people would stop complaining about Vista's slowness. All the bad press convinced people that it's much worse than it actually is. As TAU said, it just rocks on a modern machine. It's a new operating system, so it's bound to be a bit ahead of current hardware. Just remember that the same was said about Win 2000 when it came out, then about XP... Of course XP flies on today's hardware, seven years after the OS was launched, DUH !

I run 64 Ultimate on a C2D E 4500 with 4 GB of RAM and Vista is very fast and stable and looks great. Will probably switch to Win 7 after a service pack or two :)
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#21
Mussels
Moderprator
by: Gzero


I do like Win 7, however disagree with the pricing and class system. Why should there be a business, professional, or ultimate version? That just pushes up development time and costs, and can be reflected in the price and the amount of patching.
It adds no extra time. They all feature the same core OS, with different features enabled. They make ultimate first (all features) and then cut back/remove then on the lower OS's. Why do you think the betas are all of ultimate?

by: tomkaten
I think I read somewhere it will require Hardware Virtualization, so tough luck for those running E 4xxx Core2 Duos and others that don't support that. What will it do on those processors, I wonder ? Not run ? Still run but with limited functionality ? Will have to wait and see.

I also wish people would stop complaining about Vista's slowness. All the bad press convinced people that it's much worse than it actually is. As TAU said, it just rocks on a modern machine. It's a new operating system, so it's bound to be a bit ahead of current hardware. Just remember that the same was said about Win 2000 when it came out, then about XP... Of course XP flies on today's hardware, seven years after the OS was launched, DUH !

I run 64 Ultimate on a C2D E 4500 with 4 GB of RAM and Vista is very fast and stable and looks great. Will probably switch to Win 7 after a service pack or two :)
Yes it will need hardware support to run fast. even without virtualistion support on the CPU it can still run in emulation, and run "office style" applications fairly fast. Vista runs awesome on modern machines... a celeron with 1GB of ram is not a modern machine, yet they still come bundled with it :(
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#22
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Tau
Sure vista is slow when you run it on a P4 with a gig of ram. Put it on a decently fast machine and it flys... faster than XP in some cases.
And that's the problem. Even now they sell machines that's not well suited for Vista. A lot of people don't know that, and they don't care about it either, so they're switching back to XP.

BTW, if the hardware requirements for Win7 are similiar to Vista's, I think it's going to do a lot better.
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#23
Mussels
Moderprator
by: Frick
And that's the problem. Even now they sell machines that's not well suited for Vista. A lot of people don't know that, and they don't care about it either, so they're switching back to XP.

BTW, if the hardware requirements for Win7 are similiar to Vista's, I think it's going to do a lot better.
i've seen laptops sold with 512MB of ram and vista basic. terrible, considering the price of ram these days.

7's hardware requirements are basically the same on paper - in reality it will perform better due to its lower ram overhead. I'm confident the reason this has taken place is that MS wants to see 7 on next generation atom devices, like the eeePC and MSI wind. (this is also why i think they didnt make just an x64 version, those CPU's arent 64 bit)
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#24
KieranD
why dont you get a 64 bit atom or the like?
anyway interesting feature this, i dont see my self using it tho but a full os built into this os is cool
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#25
chooky
This should make Windows 8 better because they can strip away some of the compatibility layers.
But watch them stuff it up some other way.
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