what version to buy, one of the most compelling features of the
Professional and Ultimates versions is Windows
XP Mode. XP Mode runs using Microsoft's Virtual PC
software, but unlike many virtual machines, it blends unobtrusively
into your desktop, with XP-compatibility Windows happily living
alongside Windows 7 windows, with no obtrusive
Microsoft made an exciting
announcement yesterday -- the Windows XP Mode has finally hit RTM
(Windows 7 hit RTM several weeks ago.). The finalized version
close resembles the Windows
XP Mode Release Candidate, which aired in August.
business users, XP Mode provides an innovative way to remove the
headache of software compatibility. With it, virtually any
software that can run on Windows XP, can run within Windows 7.
home users, the new feature is equally exciting, giving many their
first taste of the benefits of virtualization. Not only can it
help them save on software costs, by running older versions of Office
software or other programs, it can also allow them to play games that
would run within Windows XP, but had trouble running within Windows
Vista. For fans of PC gaming, this is a welcome feature.
virtual machine also helps to protect
computers from online attackers when running. Many attacks
exploit virtualization features as a foothold to launch attacks
from. When XP Mode is running, its much harder to launch such
attacks, though its still strongly recommended that you run security
software, such as Microsoft's free Security Essentials inside both
the virtual machine and Windows 7.
The final release of XP
Mode, will arrive concurrently with the release of Windows 7 on
October 22. It will be available for download from the
Microsoft Download Center for users with Professional or Ultimate
editions of Windows 7.