Windows XP mode, introduced in Windows 7 is a cool new feature to support legacy systems and applications that does not work in Windows 7. In simple terms, Windows XP mode is a Virtual Machine on its own running on Windows Virtual PC but bit more integrated tightly into the native OS (Windows 7).
By default, all the disks on the host system comes shared and allows you to share your USB devices as well. All the shares and settings can be adjusted from “Tools – Settings”
The biggest advantage is that the applications installed in Windows XP mode appears as a shortcut on your desktoop which means, it gets directly accessed from Windows 7 rather than having to work from the Windows XP mode.
Windows XP mode install os a 3 step process. Click here to visit the Microsoft website, select your operating system version and choose to download the following in order (all downloads available on the same website):
1. Download and Install XP Mode (Windows XP virtual PC)
2. Windows Virtual PC (requires a restart)
3. Windows XP mode update (requires a restart)
Once installed, click “Start – All programs – Windows Virtual PC – Windows XP mode”. This should launch Windows XP moed. When launched for the first time, accept the license agreement, set the password for the user account (XPMuser), turn on automatic updates and off you go…Windows XP mode is ready to use.
From there on, install applications just as you would in Windows XP and you should see the app shortcuts appearing on Windows 7. When complete with Windows XPmode, simply close the window and XP mode will hibernate.