More than just a setting, XP Mode, which we wrote about earlier
, consists of a Virtual PC-based virtual environment and a fully licensed copy of Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3). This is Microsoft's "solution" for those concerned with possible issues with compatibility with older software. On Thursday, Microsoft announced the software has RTMed and will ship on Oct. 22nd, the same day as Windows 7.
Windows 7 XP Mode requires a CPU that is capable of hardware virtualization. You also need to have Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise edition.
To check whether a CPU can support hardware virtualization, users can download, install and run either the Intel Processor Identification Utility
or the AMD Virtualization Compatibility Check Utility
Here's what Microsoft said in their announcement
about XP Mode:
Windows XP Mode is designed to provide small business and mid-sized businesses running Windows 7 Professional (or higher) the ability to run Windows XP productivity applications that may not be natively compatible with Windows 7. We expect many Windows XP applications to be compatible Windows 7 however Windows XP Mode is meant to serve as an added safety net so small and mid-sized businesses can migrate and run Windows 7 without any road blocks. Windows 7 Professional is designed to meet the needs of small and mid-sized businesses.