Windows XP in Windows 7 or a few questions about XP Mode

    Microsoft said Thursday that the final version of the Windows XP virtual environment will be available on October 22, the day Windows 7 was published. Known as XP Mode (hereinafter referred to as “XP Mode”), this new Microsoft virtualization software makes it easy to migrate to Windows. 7 for businesses and users who can migrate all of their Windows XP programs. On Habré XP Mode was already considered in a number of articles, however, after reviewing them, I tried to summarize some issues and, basically, supplement the above with the latest information available.


    Last year, active discussions began about enterprise-oriented virtualization solutions from Microsoft - such as Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), App-V (Application Virtualization) and MED-V (Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization). It is the latter that are the basis for Microsoft's attempt to kill two birds with one stone - to satisfy users and administrators at the same time. Indeed, one of the important obstacles to abandoning an "aging" XP is the reluctance of users and administrators to stop using their old, favorite, tested and learned programs.

    What is XP Mode?

    “XP Mode” launches Windows XP with the 3rd service pack as a virtual environment in Windows 7, which allows you to work with your XP-oriented programs on a machine with the main axis - Windows 7. Between the similar ones for an inexperienced Internet reader “XP Mode ”And MED-V Lite there are significant differences (see note F). “XP mode” is more loyal in terms of performance and does not require any special license agreement, available only to large companies.

    It should be noted, Deb Shinder notes, that despite the literal translation of the name “XP Mode”, this is not some special “mode” in which you can run Windows 7, and it is also not something built into your main operating system. This is a completely separate application - Windows Virtual PC, which runs a special virtual machine. The main difference from third-party virtual machines is that in this case, Windows XP is already created, installed and licensed in it.

    Why is XP Mode shipped separately from Windows 7?

    As far as I know, the main reason is the trick Microsoft has taken to avoid conflicts with antitrust laws.

    What is a Windows Virtual PC?

    Windows Virtual PC is the main software engine that enables virtualization like XP Mode. Virtual PC is strictly necessary to run XP Mode. Integration of “XP Mode” in Windows Virtual PC allows you to display your favorite applications running in virtual Windows XP on the Windows 7 desktop as if they were installed and run on the main Windows 7 machine. In other words, you won’t even need to see your desktop of the XP virtual machine (only if you want to just “look” at it).

    In general, this is all very similar to the operation of Terminal Services in Windows Server 2008, where instead of a solid remote desktop, the user sees windows of individual applications running on the server. The only difference in our case is that the virtual OS acts as the server in which the “terminal” applications are installed, and the “terminal client” is launched on the parent OS, the tasks of which also include, if necessary, “raising” the virtual OS upon request, if it not working yet.

    It is worth noting that Windows Virtual PC is not limited to installing and starting a virtual machine only in “XP Mode”. You can also install other guest operating systems (for example, Vista, Windows 7, etc.) and run the corresponding applications under them.

    What about security?

    It is important to know that despite various rumors and private opinions, this question is quite simple - using "XP Mode" you actually use a completely separate logical computer that does not inherit the security settings of your main Windows 7 machine, nor its software, nor its updates responsible for security, etc. In other words, you need to double monitor your computer - separately for Windows 7, and completely separately - for your guest system, with all the ensuing consequences.

    It is also important to remember that using "XP Mode" - you are using a fully-fledged separate machine, which should be managed as a regular non-virtual machine with Windows XP installed on it.

    To ensure security, do the following:
    1. Make sure that the appropriate antivirus software is installed on XP on the VM. Local software on the host does not protect XP.
    2. Make sure that all necessary updates are received on the VM through automatic update or WSUS.
    3. Make sure that all applications installed on the VM receive updates from the manufacturer if necessary.
    4. Disable unnecessary services for you on XP running on VM.

    In other words, you need to follow the security instructions from the Windows XP Security Compliance Management Toolkit, here .

    Who is “XP Mode” for?

    Microsoft decided to introduce “XP Mode” in order to convince conservative small enterprises and mid-level companies to abandon Windows XP in favor of Windows 7. Some companies continue to use Windows XP, as they use their usual software, which may conflict with the latest versions of Windows or is generally not compatible with it. Concern over conflicts with old software is one of the most important reasons why some companies decided not to migrate to Windows Vista. By offering XP Mode, Microsoft hopes to finally put an end to Windows XP and lure the client base of this aging OS.

    What do I need to run XP Mode?

    You can run Windows Virtual PC on any version of Windows 7, but XP Mode works only on versions: Windows 7 Enterprise, Professional, and Ultimate.

    You also need to make sure your processor supports virtualization. PC World magazine does not have a complete list of processors that do not support XP Mode virtualization, while Microsoft has utilities for Intel and AMD processors that can determine if your computer’s configuration matches XP Mode.

    Where can I get XP Mode and how much does it cost?

    You can download Release Candidates - “XP Mode” and Windows Virtual PC right now from the official Microsoft website. Full versions will be available for download only from October 22. "XP Mode" and Virtual PC are available for free download.


    A / XP Mode is nothing more than a “virtualized” copy of Windows XP SP3.

    B / IMPORTANT: Upgrading from a beta version of Windows XP Mode to a candidate version of Windows XP Mode is not supported. Uninstall the beta version of Windows XP Mode and the beta version of Windows Virtual PC before installing the candidate version.

    C / To start the Windows XP Mode environment on a computer, you need to use Windows Virtual PC. Windows Virtual PC requires a processor that supports hardware virtualization; AMD-V ™ or Intel® VT must be enabled in the BIOS (note that often to turn on hardware virtualization after completing BIOS settings, the computer must be physically powered off).

    D / Final RTM version will be available on October 22.

    E / Installation Procedure:
    1. Install Virtual PC, x86 or x64 version
    2. Install Windows XP Mode.

    F / Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) and Microsoft Application Virtualization (APP-V) are used to manage the virtual machine infrastructure. MED-V is part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP). MED-V provides the ability to centrally create, install, and update virtual images on a computer network across an entire organization. MED-V is structured control of the entire enterprise’s virtual machines. Microsoft Application Virtualization (APP-V) is used to virtualize large-scale applications when the application is not installed on the client computer.

    G / This is my first article, not a translation. To write it, I used my own translations of materials from PC World and so on. sources, as well as Russian-language articles on the topic, but with an attempt to comprehend and trying to present everything in a generalized way and in your own words.


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