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
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
iStink said:
I didn't think of that. There's no way for a program running in the virtual environment to "reach out" to the system and mess anything up?
There are ways, especially if you have network drives maps to the host machine, but it is less likely to happen.
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#2
iStink
hey i tried running that virtual machine thing but it gets stuck on post. it ID's my mac addr and guid but doesn't get past that. does this just take a really long time or something?

edit: it said it couldn't find anything to boot with lol i'm dumb. i went into bios and tried setting boot priority but if it can't find anything that won't help will it?
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#3
Mussels
Moderprator
iStink said:
hey i tried running that virtual machine thing but it gets stuck on post. it ID's my mac addr and guid but doesn't get past that. does this just take a really long time or something?
you need to have a disk in your drive/virtual drive, and then make the virtual machine use that. It will then boot and install windwos through it.

there buttons at the bottom of the window, right click the CD one and you can bind the VM to a drive on the host OS.
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#4
iStink
Mussels said:
you need to have a disk in your drive/virtual drive, and then make the virtual machine use that. It will then boot and install windwos through it.
I went through and set one up, made a virtual disc drive file er whatever. I'll run through the wizard again and see if I mucked anything up.
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#5
Mussels
Moderprator
iStink said:
I went through and set one up, made a virtual disc drive file er whatever. I'll run through the wizard again and see if I mucked anything up.
thats a blank hard drive. you still have to install windows to it!
Posted on Reply
#6
iStink
Mussels said:
thats a blank hard drive. you still have to install windows to it!
ah! lol. I selected xp from a list and thought that was all that was needed, turns out its just suggesting settings based on the selection. I'll just read up on this. I'm rushing into it without much thought here.

ya I'm an idiot dude. I thought this would be like the windows mobile emulator in visual studio where everything is loaded already for you. I dont exactly have an xp disc laying around here at work lol.

I'll just have to play with it when I get home.
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#7
Mussels
Moderprator
iStink said:
ah! lol. I selected xp from a list. I'll just read up on this. I'm rushing into it without much thought here.
what you did was created a virtual machine optimised for XP (HDD size and ram size)
Thats a fake machine with an empty HDD. Think of it as a brand new PC... it aint gunna do nothing til you stick that XP disk in there and install it.

lol you did edits while i was posting... 20MB is a tad small to include XP ;)
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#8
3870x2
Weer said:
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.
small amount of customers? USSOCOM pays just under a billion for a single "enterprise" key that can be used on XP and Vista, so that it doesnt try to access the internet to activate the product, sort of pre-activated. We were among those who requested an XP vm, so that many of our current products we use can run without a problem.

"small amount of customers...."
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#9
Conti027
Weer said:
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).
I havent had one problem with skype and ive been using 7 since the beta was out
Posted on Reply
#10
h3llb3nd4
It rocks when something this awesome gets released:)
but is sucks when you have to download it:(
Posted on Reply
#11
Mussels
Moderprator
h3llb3nd4 said:
It rocks when something this awesome gets released:)
but is sucks when you have to download it:(
its 20MB! i'm already running it now :D
Posted on Reply
#12
h3llb3nd4
only 20?!?!?:twitch:
I thought it would be 700+
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#13
Mussels
Moderprator
h3llb3nd4 said:
only 20?!?!?:twitch:
I thought it would be 700+
it doesnt include the OS with it!

edit: the one we're running NOW doesnt include the OS. the one with 7, may. but that'd be weird.
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#14
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
I'm going to guess the one that ships with Win7 will have a pre-configured XP setup already on it. I don't think it would be hard to fit a full copy of XP on the Win7 DVD, but I could be wrong. It also might ask you to insert a Windows XP CD the first time you start the Virtual PC, and run an automated install off the CD.

There are a few of things that I still question though:

1.) How does licensing work? I know that Win7 Ultimate includes a licence for XP Pro, so that wouldn't be an issue, but what about the other versions of Win7. Or is this just going to be a feature of Ultimate?

2.) Is this actually a new version of Virtual PC, or is it just Virtual PC 2007 re-packaged and included in with Win7? I hope it is a new version, and I hope they have improved it, and added USB support and better hardware integration.

3.) Will this version of Virtual PC be limitted to just running XP, or will you still be able to configure as many Virtual PCs as you want to install any OS you like?(I have Win3.11, Win98 SE, and XP running right now.)

4.) How long until we see anti-trust lawsuits?
Posted on Reply
#15
johnnyfiive
Weer said:
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.
Don't forget about hospitals, accounting companies, insurance companies, etc. A lot of specialized applications ARE NOT supported on anything other than Windows XP. By support, it literally means support. If you have an issue with an application and the OS is NOT XP, your not going to get vendor support. I deal with this stuff all the time at the hospital I work at. Aside from that, a lot of the applications we have bought are not designed to work on anything but XP. Even though compatibility mode is available, it doesn't mean the application will magically work.

We will NEVER go to Vista and we will take a long time to go to Win 7. M$ wants businesses to go to Win 7, thats why they are adding a Virtual XP. Makes sense to me.
Posted on Reply
#17
Polarman
I'd rather see a Virtual DOS environment so i could play all my oldies without using DosBox.
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#18
Hayder_Master
Mussels said:
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 :)
:roll: , dumm you talking right , i wish you come to country and see you are absolutely right :banghead:
Posted on Reply
#19
HeadlessChicken
Mussels said:
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.
yeah, like tieing apps to a spicific IE version(or IE period) my mother has a few billing apps like that shes had to abandon due to ms updates killing them and it taking MONTHS for the makers to update their damn programs.......real load of shit if u ask me.......
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#20
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Polarman said:
I'd rather see a Virtual DOS environment so i could play all my oldies without using DosBox.
Virtual PC allows that, I had Win3.11 installed on top of Dos 6.05(I think it was 6.05). Booted to a DOS prompted and then I had to run the command to boot Windows. Though I lost the virtual HD image when one of my hard drives died, and I've been too lazy to redo it.

Though installing 98 should give you a fair bit of compatibility with older games.
Posted on Reply
#21
Mussels
Moderprator
newtekie1 said:
Virtual PC allows that, I had Win3.11 installed on top of Dos 6.05(I think it was 6.05). Booted to a DOS prompted and then I had to run the command to boot Windows. Though I lost the virtual HD image when one of my hard drives died, and I've been too lazy to redo it.

Though installing 98 should give you a fair bit of compatibility with older games.
the virtual system uses a virtual soundblaster 16, which was definately compatible with most of the DOS games out there.
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#22
Shadin
Biggest question in my mind - will this allow older games to play (like Diablo II, NWN) that tend to not like Vista/7?
Posted on Reply
#23
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Those who are able to test it should be able to tell us that, otherwise it will be worth it to keep your old XP/98SE machine around for such games.
Posted on Reply
#24
Mussels
Moderprator
Shadin said:
Biggest question in my mind - will this allow older games to play (like Diablo II, NWN) that tend to not like Vista/7?
you will have emulated 3D support, so games that require 3D graphics arent going to run well.
Posted on Reply
#25
HeadlessChicken
Shadin said:
Biggest question in my mind - will this allow older games to play (like Diablo II, NWN) that tend to not like Vista/7?
um, nwn runs fine on my system under vista64...........just run update(never tryed it un-updated...)

not got any ideas what to tell you if your system wont wun nwn on vista64......it SHOULD WORK, so should diabloII as i know a few people who still play it even after upgrading to newer systems that came with vista....

as to emulated directX support, it depends on if MS bothers to do a decent d3d passthru or their typical "it kinda works" method.

VMware6.5+ can play older 3d titles just fine via 98se or windows 2000 from my testing......
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