Facts about Windows XP Mode

XP Mode for Windows 7…

enables a user to install and run Windows XP applications directly from a Windows 7-based PC. With Windows Virtual PC (not the same with Virtual PC 2007,)

works in Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate, and provides a 32-bit Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 (XPSP3) environment pre-loaded on a virtual hard disk.

Running XP Mode requires turning on hardware virtualization with AMD-V™, Intel® VT, or VIA® VT, which may not be available in all PCs. For Enterprise customers, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V,) part of Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) and available in Software Assurance, is a management solution for deploying Windows XP Mode and local virtualization solutions in an enterprise setting. While MED-V 1.0 SP1 to be available in the first quarter of 2010 with host support for Windows 7, notice that both MED-V 1.0, MED-V 1.0 SP1 will leverage Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 which does not required hardware assisted virtualization.

To enable XP Mode after installing Windows 7, a local administrator can click “Windows XP Mode” from “All Programs/Windows Virtual PC,” as shown, to access the online download page. Follow the instructions to install Windows Virtual PC and XP Mode. A virtual machine will be automatically initialized with Windows XP SP3. The user will be prompted and can choose to cache the built-in service’s account’s credentials to automatically start the Windows XP SP3 virtual machine.

XP Mode is an integrated environment with a number of productivity features including:

  • Folder integration to allow accessing the hosting Windows 7 disk drives within XP Mode
  • Seamless applications to access XP Mode application in the All Programs menu from the hosting Windows 7 machine
  • USB support for XP Mode
  • Clipboard sharing between a hosting Windows 7 machine and XP Mode
  • Printer redirection for XP Mode

The XPSP3 virtual machine running in XP Mode is by default networked with the hosting Windows 7 machine using Network Address Translation. This network and additional virtual machine settings of the XP Mode are customizable. After all, XP Mode is desktop virtualization and a virtual machine. Most settings applicable to a virtual machine are applicable to XP Mode as well. Also keep in mind when it comes to desktop management, XP Mode or a virtual machine should be managed like a physical machine. In other words, a virtual machine in production needs to be secured, patched, and monitored just like a physical machine since at a logical level a virtual machine can be targeted and attacked just like a physical machine.

Full post…

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