Print 72 comment(s) - last by FreqNasty.. on Oct 18 at 9:38 AM

Windows XP is an elderly operating system, so why do we still rely so much on it?

Excitement is building around the launch of Windows 7. Microsoft's latest operating system was released to manufacturing back in August and will be available to consumers on October 22. Many eager Windows users are already enjoying their retail copies of Windows 7 courtesy of the Windows 7 Party Pack – in fact, some have decided to part ways with their Party Packs and list them for $200+ on eBay.

When it comes to Windows 7, there are quite a few features that stand out in the minds of users. The install takes up less space than Windows Vista, offers across the board performance increases (especially for netbooks), and includes numerous tweaks both to the user interface and beneath the skin. One feature that has received a lot of attention is XP Mode which is included with Business and Ultimate versions of Windows 7.

As its name implies, XP Mode allows users to run a fully licensed copy of Windows XP in a virtual environment within Windows 7. While having the ability to run a full copy of Windows XP Professional is no doubt a nice addition for regular consumers and businesses that still rely on Windows XP to run certain software or conduct business, is the trend to provide easy access to XP a help or hindrance to software development?

Windows XP was released late in 2001; we are now late in 2009 and fast approaching 2010. Windows XP is an eight-year-old operating system, which is quite ancient in terms of modern operating systems. Since that time, Windows Vista was released (October 2006 for businesses, January 2007 for consumers) and now were are tiptoeing towards the release of Windows 7.

Is is that consumers and businesses are just so set in their ways with using older, incompatible software? After all, upgrading to newer software that is compatible with Windows Vista/7 could be quite expensive for corporations on top of the cost of upgrading to Windows 7 (or buying new computer systems with Windows 7 already installed). Or are the software vendors that provided these older software programs just not interested in making newer versions compatible with Windows Vista and Windows 7?

In Microsoft's case, it's of little concern, because anyone who buys a copy of Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate for XP mode has ultimately bought a new Windows license. But the question remains, why hang on to ties to the past?

Tell us your thoughts. If you plan on using XP Mode in Windows 7, what software do you plan to run in the virtual environment? Why are you using that software? Is there an updated version that is compatible with Vista/Windows 7, but you're comfortable using the older version? You have our ears!

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RE: Old games :)
By Master Kenobi on 10/12/2009 4:36:48 PM , Rating: 2
DirectX is likely not going to work even in XP Mode. It's still a Vitual Machine for all intents and puroses, and still subject to lack of access to 3D Acceleration hardware.

RE: Old games :)
By jonmcc33 on 10/13/2009 10:54:04 AM , Rating: 2
Some older games will easily render in software mode (Unreal Tournament).

RE: Old games :)
By Calin on 10/13/2009 2:36:28 PM , Rating: 2
VirtualBox can use 3D acceleration (either DirectX or OpenGL in Windows, OpenGL only in Linux). Tried it, and it works quite nice.

RE: Old games :)
By mcnabney on 10/13/2009 4:16:51 PM , Rating: 2
Virtualbox WILL run DirectX games.

XP Mode in Pro and Ultimate WILL NOT run DirectX games.

All the people who bought beyond Premium just for XP Mode to play games just wasted their money.

RE: Old games :)
By Alexstarfire on 10/13/2009 8:43:07 PM , Rating: 2
Unless they like being limited to 8GB of RAM I'd say it's not really wasted. I got Pro just for that reason alone. Of course when you can get Home Premium and Pro for the same price it's obvious which one you're going to pick. :P

RE: Old games :)
By Smilin on 10/13/2009 4:43:07 PM , Rating: 2
Understood. I don't actually need the HW acceleration for these old games. Software will be just fine.

Hopefully this will do the trick otherwise I'm just out my money. I am NOT going back to Win XP. That crusty thing feels like Win 95 to me.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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