Microsoft Offers Virtual Windows XP Mode for Windows 7

REDMOND, Wash.—Microsoft has released code for running Windows XP applications virtually on its new Window 7 operating system platform.

The virtual Windows XP Mode will be made available as a release candidate for testing and then see official issue with the launch of Windows 7 on Oct. 22, The Register reports.

Microsoft says changes to Windows XP Mode are designed to improve integration with Windows 7 for greater interface functionality.

Additionally, Microsoft told The Register the XP Mode will be able to be managed through the next version of the computer firm's Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) system. This means systems administrators will be able to establish their own use settings over those of the end user and also patch and update machines. A beta version of MED-V will be available some 90 days before the general public release.

Microsoft's Scott Woodgate, director of desktop virtualization and the desktop optimization pack, said the XP Mode has been designed for small and mid-market customers and businesses, and could be run on between one and 25 PCs. Many IT departments in small and large companies have already said they'll take a cautious approach to Windows 7 after skipping Vista and continuing to use Windows XP.