Windows 7 "XP Mode" = simply VirtualPC + WinXP guestOS ? Seamless or full VM?

pstein

Honorable Member
#1
I am thinking about buying Win7 but want to clarify the feature "XP Mode".
As you know Win7 Home contains in contrast to Windows 7 Pro no "XP mode".
So I wonder what exactly this "XP mode" is.
If I take Win7 Home then install VirtualPC and install WinXP inside as a guestOS VM.
Is this the same as the "XP mode" in Win7 Pro?

Or is there something like a seamless integration of WinXP in Win7?

In other words: If I want to use 32bit WinXP programs in 64bit Win7 Pro with "XP mode" do I have to start
at first a whole lengthy VM and then the actual WinXP program inside this VM?
Or do I have to click just the 32bit WinXP just as if it would run in 64bit?

Peter
 


Mike

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#2
It is definately a VM, but it tries to integrate the XP apps into the desktop. It is kind of like the feature found in VMWare which allows you to look at virtual applications on the host desktop. It will run the application in a window within Windows 7, but will be running from Microsoft Virtual PC.
 


#3
prstein said:
If I take Win7 Home then install VirtualPC and install WinXP inside as a guestOS VM.
Is this the same as the "XP mode" in Win7 Pro?

No, the principle difference here is that XP Mode consists of the Virtual PC-based virtual environment and a fully licensed copy of Windows XP with Service Pack 3. After downloading, installing, and configuring the xp mode, you get a virtual machine with XP SP 3 already preactivated and officially licensed. While with other virtualization solitions, you need a license for Windows XP.






Another advantage, as Mike said, is that Windows XP Mode integrates the XP applications into the desktop, which means that both the 7 and the virtual XP's applications you're running and any system tray notifications from either os are brought over to the Windows 7 desktop. Applications retain their look-and-feel, so they're clearly visible as "XP" applications, but for the most part they work more or less as if they were native. The clipboard is shared between the native OS and the virtual one, so copy-and-paste works as it should.








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prstein said:
In other words: If I want to use 32bit WinXP programs in 64bit Win7 Pro with "XP mode" do I have to start at first a whole lengthy VM and then the actual WinXP program inside this VM?

You can have shortcuts of your applications from the virtual XP in Windows 7. To run them, you click the shortcuts and the XP mode automatically starts itself (doesn't take long) and then starts the requested application. You can also start applications within the XP Mode.





WinXPmode is available, for free, to users of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions via a download from the Microsoft web site.

You can find many reviews, here are just some of them:

Windows 7 Features: Windows XP Mode


Windows 7's XP Mode: what it is, how it works, who it's for

Win 7's XP Mode And VirtualBox: When You Need Windows XP : Introduction
 


pstein

Honorable Member
#4
Ok, thank you for the answer.

But I would like to know how exactly to use 32bit programs in XP Mode.
Assume I have a portable program which comes WITHOUT installer.
On 32bit WinXP I simply double click on it to start it.

Can I just copy this program onto 64bit Windows 7 and double click on it as well?
Does 64bit Windows 7 AUTOMATICALLY recognize that this is a 32bit program and put/start it AUTOMATICALLY into "XP mode" mode?

Or do I have to tell Windows 7 in advance explicitely "Hey Windows 7 here is a 32bit program. Move it to the 'XP mode' world"?

Peter
 


#5
But I would like to know how exactly to use 32bit programs in XP Mode.
Assume I have a portable program which comes WITHOUT installer.
On 32bit WinXP I simply double click on it to start it.

Can I just copy this program onto 64bit Windows 7 and double click on it as well?
Does 64bit Windows 7 AUTOMATICALLY recognize that this is a 32bit program and put/start it AUTOMATICALLY into "XP mode" mode?

Or do I have to tell Windows 7 in advance explicitely "Hey Windows 7 here is a 32bit program. Move it to the 'XP mode' world"?

Peter
I have seen a lot of great replies here to Peter's question and I thought I would add some additional information. Mainly, the differences between Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 and Windows Virtual PC are full hardware and software compatibility. Check out a full list @ Windows Virtual PC: Compare Features. Also, to learn more specifically about Windows XP Mode, you can visit bit.ly/winxpmode. Your other question was on whether you can run 32-bit programs on a 64-bit computer. Most programs designed for the 32-bit version of Windows will work on the 64-bit version of Windows. Notable exceptions are many antivirus programs. Please check this page for all FAQ related to 32-bit and 64-bit @ 32-bit and 64-bit Windows: frequently asked questions. There is a ton of great resources that we can share with you. You can also follow us on Twitter @Win7ProSB for Windows 7 Professional related updates, news, and contests, or just reply to this message. Hope this helps. Andrea H. Windows 7 Professional Outreach Team
 


#6
But I would like to know how exactly to use 32bit programs in XP Mode.
Assume I have a portable program which comes WITHOUT installer.
On 32bit WinXP I simply double click on it to start it.
simple software should work, yes!

Can I just copy this program onto 64bit Windows 7 and double click on it as well?
then it installs in the Win7 x86 folder - not XP!

Does 64bit Windows 7 AUTOMATICALLY recognize that this is a 32bit program and put/start it AUTOMATICALLY into "XP mode" mode?
No, you must manually move the software to the XP partition before you can install it

Or do I have to tell Windows 7 in advance explicitely "Hey Windows 7 here is a 32bit program. Move it to the 'XP mode' world"?
as above 32 bit software is recognised but would be installed under 7 x86 - as said above your job to move the installer/software to XP and install there
 


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