Microsoft Virtualization: Windows XP Mode for Windows 7

If you are read my last Blog post, you are all aware that Microsoft has just released Windows 7 RC for TechNet and MSDN subscribers, and it will be available for general public on May 5th 2009.

Microsoft Virtualization Team today introduced a new feature in Windows 7 where Windows XP Mode is a virtual Windows XP environment that customers of Windows 7 Pro, Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 7 Enterprise can use to run older Windows XP applications with virtualization technologies such as Windows Virtual PC.

And now Windows XPM and Virtual PC will be new features of Windows 7.

Windows 7 Pro provides Windows XP Mode to run many older Windows XP productivity applications.  With Windows Virtual PC, you can run Windows XP applications with a single click, directly from Windows 7 desktop.

Hmm… Isn’t it same as MED-V?? 

Well.. XPM is targeted for small businesses where there is no IT department.

Businesses with IT Professionals can reduce the cost of deploying and managing Windows Virtual PCs by using Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) which is part of Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack.

New Features of Virtual PC for XPM:

Easy setup of Windows XP Mode – Once both the Windows Virtual PC and the virtual Windows XP environment are installed, Windows Virtual PC provides a simple wizard to setup the Windows XP Mode with just a few clicks. 

USB Support – Users can access USB devices attached to Windows 7 directly from Windows XP Mode.  These devices include Printers and Scanners, Flash Memory/Sticks and External Hard Disks, Digital Cameras and more.

Seamless Applications – Publish and Launch applications installed on Windows XP Mode directly from the Windows 7 desktop, as if they were installed on the Windows 7 itself.

Folder Integration between Windows 7 and Windows XP Mode– Access your Windows 7 Known Folders:  My documents, Pictures, Desktop, Music, Video, from inside the virtual windows environment, such as Windows XP Mode

Clipboard Sharing – Cut and paste between your Windows 7 and Windows XP Mode.

Printer Redirection – Print directly to your attached printer from your Windows XP Mode applications either in application mode or desktop mode.

So what is the system requirement to run Windows XP Mode?

  1. You will need to install Windows 7 release candidate 
  2. You need to have a PC with virtualization feature turned on in the CPU (e.g.  Intel-VT or AMD-V feature should be enabled on CPU through BIOS)

You can download the Evaluation Guide of Virtual PC to setup XPM from here

So for all those who have already downloaded Windows 7 RC from TechNet and MSDN sites, go ahead and evaluate this great feature while others will be able to do that after May 5th 2009 when Windows 7 RC releases for general public.

And please do share your feedback and experience while evaluating XPM for Windows 7…

And stay tuned for the lots of exciting news and revelation related to Microsoft Virtualization coming up.. 😉

Comments (8)

  1. dave brennan says:

    i am a user, not a developer. i just bought a HP laptop w win 7 home 64 . the MS compatability site shows full compatabiliy w my KM maxxum 7d camera. software loads fine , but the camera can’t communicate w the computer. according to HP , if i upgrade to pro, in order to get xp mode , i’ll void the warrantee. is there something else going on here that we haven’t thought of? hours on the phone to HP haven’t helped. can i set up a dual boot w xp? anything?  thanx

  2. Jeff Hickerson says:

    When running an application in "Windows XP mode 1", Is there a method to attach the USb device not already shared by default?

    In full screen mode its easy, but in mode 1 you don’t have the tool bar at the top to attach the device.

  3. Christian Hemker says:


    That was easy 🙂 Thanks for your answer. Now I am able to play my favorite 16 bit game on Windows 7 x64:!

  4. Christian Hemker says:

    Virtual Windows XP worked on my Windows 7 RC. However, I had to setup the virtual machine manually. I could use the preinstalled XP SP3, but the assistant did not work.

    With the manual machine I could publish an application to my Windows 7: great!

    One question: What if the application does not need an installer? How do I get such an app piblished to Windows 7?

  5. Anonymous says:


    Thats the whole point.. Now application compatibility issues will not stop you to upgrade to Windows 7.

    You get best of the both worlds..  🙂


  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jeff,

    yes, you can attach your USB devices without having to go into XP Mode full screen but directly from the Windows 7 task bar. This means USB devices, such as printers and flash drives, are available to applications running in Windows XP Mode, without the need to go into a full VM mode. To attach a USB pen drive to a virtual application (Microsoft Project®), Right clicks on the VM icon on the Windows 7 task bar, and select the ‘Manage USB Devices’ option, which displays the shared device as ‘USB ?? Device".

    Select the device and click "Attach" and its done.

    Now your XP Mode application has access to USB device.

    Let me know how that works for you 🙂



    Microsoft Corp

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hi Christian,

    If you create a shortcut of your non installer based application on Windows XP VM’s Start Menu, It will show up on Windows 7 Host as well.

    Let me know how it goes.. 🙂

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