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Windows 7: XP MODE - a disappointment and not fit for purpose

11 Jun 2009   #1

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
XP MODE - a disappointment and not fit for purpose

Hi all
I'm a great believer and big user of Virtual Machines.

Looking at XP mode I thought this really had potential - just download a pre-configured xp vm and start running legacy applications without any more ado -- ideal for small businesses in going to W7 without the need of large dedicated IT depts . The "key" or "power" user could sort all this out for a smallish business -- there's always at least ONE power user in these type of organisations -- you know the one's I mean who seem to be able to fix all the computer stuff without the need of a separate IT section.

However XP mode really disappoints on these two (IMO) show stopping points.

1) It's as slow as molasses - even on a FAST QUAD 16 MB host machine.

2) Using the Integration feature the display level is set to a very low resolution. You can improve this by switching off the Integration feature - but isn't the Integration feature exactly what makes this ideal for a small business.

Now if you install a separate XP VM using VMWARE or VIRTUAL BOX the virtual system will operate at almost native speed - light years ahead of XP MODE.

Of course the disdvantage is you need a separate XP license and you need virtual machine software which in the case of vmware isn't free. I think also that Virtual Box costs money if you use it in a commercial environment like a small office.

Of course there's the option of Virtual Server from vmware which is free but setting this up for a small organisation isn't a trivial task.

So MS thumbs down on this one -- at least for now.

It really needs a HUGE amount of optimisation to make this useable in an office. While testing in development we can put up with poor response times as we know we are just testing but imagine the frutration of a typical user having to wait 10 secs or more each time they press a key.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2009   #2

Ubuntu Studio 9.04 x64 / Windows 7 RC1 x64 / Windows XP Pro SP3

I found it rather disappointing as well, but mostly because it doesn't give any benefits that running XP doesn't. I was expecting to see the ability to use programs for both Windows XP and Windows 7 to interact with each other.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2009   #3

Windows 7 X64 Build 7100

hmm interesting post. i haven't noticed anything stupidly slow on XPM. Then again i do not have any apps that are not compatible with win7. Unless you count Panda Cloud Antivirus, but that's not really a true test. That app is set up to be as nimble as possible. I have an XP license around here somewhere, i'll load it up and see if i notice a difference.
i'm running on a Xeon Quad E5410 2.33GHz with 10GB ram. Jimbo any attainable apps i can throw on there to test?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Jun 2009   #4


XP mode is fast as hell on my rig
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2009   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

It is very very slow initializing among other things as well for me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2009   #6
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

I run the XP mode as well as having Vista on the Virtual PC for 7. With the XP mode you have readily available access to all internal drives while Vista has one for dvd?!

Do I need the XP mode? Not really having just about every that ran on the 32bit XP now seen on the 64bit 7! But in order to find out just what it is you have to have it on and run it. The images here will show how things seem to run otherwise like you would expect to see from a normal installation.

Now even the startup sound(wav file) I assigned for 7 is heard loading the XP mode desktop! You are likely running into a lack of support for virtualization or may need to redo it over again to see better results. The images here show a normal OS by functionality.

The startup is usually a little slow but has to be expected.

Attached Thumbnails
XP MODE - a disappointment and not fit for purpose-xp-mode-reboots-updates.jpg   XP MODE - a disappointment and not fit for purpose-xp-mode-sees-updates.jpg   XP MODE - a disappointment and not fit for purpose-xp-mode-sees-updates2.jpg   XP MODE - a disappointment and not fit for purpose-xp-mode-sees-updates3.jpg   XP MODE - a disappointment and not fit for purpose-startup-sound-7-works-xp-mode.jpg  

Attached Images
XP MODE - a disappointment and not fit for purpose-xp-mode-drive-list.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2009   #7

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

XP Mode initializes slow (about a minute) for me to, but it runs fast once it is running.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2009   #8
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Even with Vista the initialization is slow for the vhd there as well. I think that's related directly to the virtual machine's processing more then anything. You're opening a doorway in Windows itself in order to another version while still being isolated but still grabbing some shared resources.

This is being posted from the XP mode itself.

Attached Thumbnails
XP MODE - a disappointment and not fit for purpose-post-xp-mode.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2009   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

My rig, Prometheus, runs Windows XP Mode without any problems or slowdowns. I'd recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2009   #10
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

The only thing I find a bit annoying is simply not being able to increase the virtual window itself. The maximize button simply slams the window into the upper side. I'm not looking for full screen but a larger window.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 XP MODE - a disappointment and not fit for purpose

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