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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    There is a download from microsoft "http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx" for an XP mode that allows older programs, that may not be compatible, to run. The link has a reference to "virtual-pc". I'm not sure what that implies: will I have separate virtual machines, and would it be easy to switch between them? I've never played with VM machines since I left the mainframe world. BTW, that's where all my "computer expertise" comes from, and I never dug into PC's - too old now.

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Virtual PC is just Microsoft's name for the control software that a virtual machine runs in. XP Mode is a sort of more specialized version that combines Virtual PC and XP SP3. You can have many virtual machines but Virtual PC might not be the most compatible program for that. Virtual Box or VMPlayer are probably better. You can even import XP Mode into VMPlayer and use it there once its been downloaded and installed.

    You can shut down and start up any VM at any time using the controlling software or shutting down from within the guest OS, or VM, triggers the same effect. IF you want to run more than one at a time though you'll need about 6 gigs of RAM minimum and have a bit of patience because things haappen a little slower inside a VM than they do natively.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Gunter,

    The web address you cited is the one where you can download 'XP Mode' . However, you can only download XP Mode if you use Windows 7 Professional or higher. It is offered to smooth corporate transitioning away from XP so that older XP applications can still be used after switching to Windows 7.

    If you have Windows 7 Pro or higher, the advantage in using XP Mode is that it includes a licensed copy of XP for you to run in the virtual machine. It does require some resources, but can be of great help if you have some older XP apps you just can't seem to get away from.

    There have been several compatibility updates to Windows 7 since its release last October, and some XP apps that were listed in Windows 7 Compatibility center as absolutely incompatible will run now. I have used Microsoft Money 2005 Deluxe and was disappointed that it was listed as incompatible after I transitioned to Windows 7. However, after noticing a few Windows Updates come through the pike with descriptions indicating they were for increased software compatibilities, I installed Money on my Win7 Home Premium 64 bit PC and it works flawlessly. The ability to use it in online banking was discontinued by Microsoft but that is not an issue for me.

    I would recommend looking up your XP applications in the Windows 7 Compatibility center to see if they are compatible. Even if they are not, you could still give them a try. I suspect MS does not update the lists.

    As far as Virtual Machines, they are useful in PCs because you can test software and try different operating systems, etc., and if anything goes wrong you can just turn off the VM and the problems go away. They are good about online security too, because if you pick up any malware on the VM, when you cut it off, the malware goes away as well. VMWare is a popular VM outfit, and there are others as well. But if you choose to run XP or another Windows OS in a VM, you have to buy a license to run it just as though you were installing it as a stand alone OS on an empty machine. That is what makes XP Mode so attractive.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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