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'XP Mode' On Windows 7 To Require Additional Software

While "Windows XP Mode" will be a free download aimed at SMBs, MED-V will cost extra and will likely be used more by large organizations.

Windows 7 screen shot.
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Want Windows XP to run on Windows 7? You'll have to install extra software.

Microsoft's forthcoming Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 won't have any of the management features large organizations need, but Microsoft recently began using virtualization to increase backward compatibility for enterprises using Windows Vista, and will do so with Windows 7 as well.

Earlier this month, Microsoft release Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization 1.0 (MED-V), which allows organizations using Windows Vista to run older Windows applications that are incompatible with Vista. Within 90 days of the general availability of Windows 7, Microsoft will release a beta version of MED-V 2.0, which will be able to work with Windows 7, the company said Tuesday. Both are aimed to help push companies along that have been resistant to the idea of upgrading to the latest version of Windows.

MED-V 1.0, an evolution of technology Microsoft acquired with its purchase of Kidaro last year, runs Windows XP or Windows 2000 alongside Windows Vista on the same machine. Instead of applications having to be loaded from within the instance of the old version of Windows, they appear right on the Windows Vista desktop and load as if they were running on Vista on a per-application basis.

MED-V also adds significant management functionality that won't be available with Windows XP Mode, which was announced last week. With MED-V, system administrators install an agent on each user PC to control which applications they can use with the technology and policy settings like the amount of time they'll have access to the virtual machine or whether they can cut and paste between the VM and Windows Vista. MED-V also allows for centralized deployment, remote installation, and patch management.

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