With the approach of Microsoft’s’ new OS release, Windows 7, some of you maybe hesitant to upgrade following some of the compatibility issues that Windows Vista had. Well Microsoft has an answer (or workaround) for this. This is a hardware feature, it is called "XP Mode". Although details are a bit sketchy at present, I have been able to find some information.
According to MSDN
"Those running Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate, with at least 2 GB of RAM and an Intel or AMD processor that supports hardware-level virtualization (often labeled as AMD-V, or VT on Intel chips), will have access to the "XP Mode" download for free. And while the virtual XP machine will run seamlessly and in the background, it will require its own antivirus and protection software."
What virtualization does is allow you to run 2 (or more) Operating Systems at the same time. There are many different software’s that allow for this, some are free and some are not. Basically you run the 2nd OS in a separate Window. Like any other software program it can be minimized or set for full screen. To use "XP Mode" virtualization, special hardware is needed to use all your devices in this special mode.
"XP Mode" will allow small business customers, with Windows XP apps, to run them on Windows 7. For large businesses who typically want control over things like who can install programs on their machines and other management issues, Microsoft has a product called MED-V. An updated version of MED-V, due to be in beta within 90 days of the launch of Windows 7, will add support for Windows 7’s XP Mode.
One of the benefits of XP Mode over Microsoft’s existing virtualization products is the Windows XP virtual machine runs in the background. Users don’t have to manage multiple desktops. XP Mode automatically installs shortcuts for XP programs in the Windows 7 start menu. The experience then is similar to VMware’s Fusion and Parallels (Macs’ Version) in their virtualization products.
There seems to be a lot of talk about Windows 7 in the Tech World. Most of the feedback seems positive, a good sign for a change when it comes to Microsoft. Remember to make sure your applications are compatible with Windows 7. If you need XP Mode make sure your PC hardware is compatible with Windows 7 virtualization. Not all existing systems are.
Contact CCS before upgrading to Windows 7 to make sure your desktops will transition as you need.