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I've read that Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate come (or offer as a free download) some kind of special VM for running programs that only work in XP. But is this any different than just installing XP on a normal virtual machine? Does it offer more integration with the OS?

Microsoft really needs to lower its prices. That's what really makes me ask this; even the Home Premium version is expensive. And please, no Linux comments.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Edit: Is it better? Hard to say, it's rather subjective. Does it work? Yes.

Windows 7 has the Microsoft Virtual PC XP Mode

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Windows Virtual PC requires a CPU with the Intel™ Virtualization Technology or AMD-V® feature turned on. This feature must be enabled in the system BIOS. For details on how to enable, visit the Configure BIOS page or check with your computer manufacturer.

The great thing is that if you download the Windows XP Mode you only have to fill in a password and the system is good to go (fully licensed as well, though you need a valid Windows 7 or RC installation). I'm not really into VMs, but I know this one has USB support out of the box.

Plus:

  • Publish and launch applications installed on virtual Windows XP directly from the Windows 7 desktop, as if they were installed on the Windows 7 host itself.
  • Cut and paste between your Windows 7 host and any virtual machine.
  • Access your Windows 7 Known Folders: My Documents, Pictures, Desktop, Music, and Video, from inside the virtual Windows environment, such as Windows XP Mode.

Worked very well for me!

Copied from the Running XP as a virtual machine - suggestions wanted question.

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Well, you got start menu integration in the host system for applications installed in the virtualized XP which makes using it much more seamless than explicitly starting up the VM and constantly having to switch modes between host and guest system. It's blurring the lines a little better but you might expect similar features to pop up soon in other VM solutions. After all, that's just a matter of the VM additions you install on the guest OS.

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It is so much better than in a regular VM. For one, you can run applications in their own windows, rather than manually firing up the XP VM and then the application. –  surfasb Feb 18 '11 at 1:35

Applications installed in the VM also show up the the Start Menu on the host VM. See this article for more details

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