The gold version of Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 is now available for download directly from Microsoft. With Windows XP Mode RTM, the Redmond company is delivering an extra feature to Windows 7, designed to enhance the operating system and deliver a backward compatibility boost as far as legacy XP applications go. With XP Mode the software giant is essentially making available a free copy of Windows XP SP3, which has to be run inside a virtual machine in select Windows 7 SKUs.
In this regard, Microsoft released to the general public not just Windows XP Mode, but also the virtualization solution designed to allow end users to run the guest operating system inside a virtual machine. Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC RTM are simply inseparable. Both solutions are set up to integrate seamlessly with the Professional, Enterprise and ultimate editions of Windows 7, and both are available as free downloads from Microsoft.
Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC are offered for both the 32-bit and the 64-bit of the Windows 7 editions mentioned above and in a variety of languages, in accordance with the localization flavors of the latest Windows client. End users will find that in certain scenarios the Windows 7 compatibility features do not help when attempting to run legacy applications. This is where Windows XP Mode comes in. Customers can install XP only compatible apps in the free virtualized copy of XP SP3 (XP Mode) and then access and run the programs from the Windows 7 desktop.
According to Microsoft these are the features that Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC bring to the table:
“USB support - Users can access USB devices attached to the host directly from virtual Windows XP. These devices include printers and scanners, flash memory/sticks and external hard disks, digital cameras, and more.
Seamless applications - Publish and launch applications installed on virtual Windows XP directly from the Windows 7 desktop, as if they were installed on the Windows 7 host itself.
Folder integration between host and guest - Access your Windows 7 Known Folders: My Documents, Pictures, Desktop, Music, and Video, from inside the virtual Windows environment, such as Windows XP Mode.
Clipboard sharing - Cut and paste between your Windows 7 host and any virtual machine.
Printer redirection - Print directly to your attached printer from your seamless application or virtual machine.”
Windows XP Mode RTM and Windows Virtual PC RTM are available for download here.