A recent announcement from Microsoft for Windows 7 was the removal of the Hardward Acceleration as a requirement to running Windows XP Mode.  

First off, hats off to Microsoft for doing this.  I completely understand WHY they forced the requirement initially, absolute SPEED for Windows XP mode.   But the need to run Windows 7 on a greater level of platforms AND allow us to use Windows Virtual PC for creating Virtual environments was a greater need.

Because After all, Windows 7 runs on just about EVERYTHING I’ve thrown at it!

So go now to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx and you will see a THIRD option for downloading Windows XP Mode

image

This third update seen on the right is an update that allows you to run Windows XP Mode on lower end hardware.   The Caveat to keep in mind is you are EMULATING the hardware at this point which means a performance hit.  But if the machine in question happens to be a Pentium 4 3.0 chip (which wasn’t a slouch and is still in current office environments) You may not notice it as badly.  

I have personally installed it on a Centrino class laptop with 2.0Ghz Mobile processor.  Yes, there was a hit as the application loaded.  But I can now run Legacy Windows XP software SEAMLESSLY on my laptop.  More importantly I now have the NEWEST Virtual PC.  

So I can now under Windows 7 on a 4 to 5 year old laptop Demonstrate my Server 2008 environments and Powershell demos without incurring the cost of new hardware.  Which is good for my wallet and my piece of mind with my wife.

But on the same token for a Small Business, if you have an application that only runs under Windows XP?  You have the option of running it seamlessly in the short term until a) the vendor gives you the update or b) you find a better long term solution.  However you are NOT dead in the water, you do NOT need to buy new Hardware just to run Windows 7 (except maybe some extra ram, which is cheap nowadays) and you’re in business with the most Secure O/S out there right now

So if you haven’t tried Windows XP Mode yet and you have Windows 7?  Now you have no excuse.   If you have a legal copy of Windows 7, the license to run Windows XP in XP Mode is built right in.  

Give it a whirl.  It’s a free feature in Windows 7 and you have nothing to lose.

Sean
The Energized Tech