By Fred Langa |
Looking for a sure-fire way to keep your oldest Windows applications alive while living in a Windows 7 world?
You’ll find it with Win7’s XP Mode, a free and fully functional version of XP Professional SP3 that runs entirely inside Windows 7. And even if you don’t have ancient apps to support, you gotta admit: keeping XP around for those times you want to indulgein a bit of nostalgia is pretty cool.
Windows 7’s XP Mode runs within a virtual PC (VPC). It’s not a dual-boot setup, which lets you run only one OS at a time; a VPC lets you run a second operating system within your current OS, giving you access to both simultaneously.
In a VPC, all the hardware (video boards, hard-drive controllers, etc.) an OS needs is emulated or moderated by the VPC’s software. In Win7’s XP Mode, the virtual hardware boots and runs XP Pro SP3 within a Win7 window (see Figures 1 and 2). It’s sort of like having a second monitor, but on your Win7 desktop.