Windows 7 XP Mode done and dusted

Microsoft has put the finishing touches to Windows 7’s XP Mode.

Windows 7 XP Mode done and dusted

The feature offers a virtual version of Windows XP that’s designed to help small businesses run legacy applications even after they’ve upgraded to Microsoft’s new operating system. Applications can be started from a Windows XP desktop or directly from the Windows 7 Start menu or taskbar.

Microsoft says XP Mode has now reached Release to Manufacturing (RTM) status, and will be ready for launch alongside the full operating system on 22 October. PC manufacturers will also be free to install XP Mode on systems before they’re shipped.

XP Mode has sparked some controversy, because of its reliance on virtualisation technology within the processor. It will only run on CPUs with either Intel’s Virtualization Technology or AMD-V, potentially forcing some businesses to upgrade their hardware if they wish to take advantage of XP Mode.

Consumers will also have to pay extra if they want to get their hands on XP Mode, as it will only work with the Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate editions of Windows 7.

Security firms have questioned XP Mode’s effectiveness, pointing out that businesses will need to maintain security software for both the native Windows 7 OS and XP Mode.

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