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Windows 7: Windows XP compatability mode Vs VMWARE

04 May 2009   #11

Win 7 Ult SP1/Win 10 Pro (all x64)

I'm getting somewhat confused with the plethora of Virtual this-and-that & all the associated terminology, Windows VM and Virtual PC 2007 etc. etc.

My M/B wont support hardware virtualization so am assuming that, should I ever want to go the virtual route for any reason, I would have to use VMWare or Virtual PC 2007 or similar?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2009   #12


My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2009   #13

Win 7 Ult SP1/Win 10 Pro (all x64)

You're a man of few words. Thanks. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Oct 2009   #14

OS X Leopard, Windows XP, Windows 7, Ubuntu Linux (Different problems need different tools)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by z3r010 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
People have very much missed the whole point of "XP compatability mode" if they are comparing this with stand alone software such as VBOX and VMWARE.
TBH from what i'm reading around here, I think almost everbody has missed the point lol
Hi guys, I don't think anyone missed the point... most are actually quite spot on,

XP mode is nothing other than standalone software that you need to download and install, which comes with a copy of Windows XP and even a text file containing the serial...,. It's also only available in some editions, and Virtualization has to be available on your hardware... (why make this more difficult route than VMWare server or Virtuabox?)

Quoting the Windows 7 "XP mode" Features webpage

Windows XP Mode also requires virtualization software such as Windows Virtual PC. Both are available free on the Microsoft website.

To download Windows XP Mode or learn about its system requirements, visit the Windows Virtual PC website.

OK, so this means:
1) Its just the same as standalone alternatives, need to download, install windows etc...or throw a pre-configured windows VM onto it.
2) The features that Jimbo45 pointed out to are available in all the other alternatives
3) It "new features" (Windows integration) has been available in VMware, Virtuabox or Parallels (on Mac) for 3 years
4) Its free, but still just Virtual PC, just like many others.

At the University where I've implemented Virtual machines (server side but also client side to facilitate teaching of some courses) Virtual PC 2007 just did not suffice.

Problems with Virtual PC 2007:
Doesn't run Linux virtual machines well, which Windows7 students will need to run if you're teaching networking or security in heterogeneous environments.
Proprietary file format, so tough to move around if you moved to another OS (even just temporarily)

Not sure why Microsoft calls it "XP mode" -
They should rather call it:

"Download, install and run Virtual PC 2007, then install a full installation of Windows XP as a virtual machine, have all the hassles you've always had with XP, but at least you will accommodate your older software because developers coded really badly so the software can't be ported" -- mode

Maybe CodeWeavers delivers Compatibility for Mac and Linux. Your Windows Mac and Linux Crossover solution - CodeWeavers - who brought out products like Crossover for Linux and for Mac (which installs a very small virtual Windows environment bottle -commercial version of Wine) should bring out a Crossover for Windows 7.

CrossOver Bottles Features - CodeWeavers

BENEFITS of a setup like that includes:
Basically from their page, to give the general idea.
CrossOver allows you to maintain multiple bottles in one CrossOver installation. This is like having several different Windows machines operating together on your computer.

This is useful anytime you want to install multiple applications yet prevent them from interacting or damaging one another. For example: Typically the Internet Explorer 6.0 installer upgrades any existing Internet Explorer 5.0 installation. Using bottles it is possible to install Internet Explorer 6.0 into a new, empty bottle, while leaving an existing install of Internet Explorer 5.0 intact and untouched, thus letting web developers run both simultaneously.
I'm disappointed in XP mode, because I believed they would follow this Wine route, instead of just a VM install which will require its own AntiVirus (as Windows does) etc etc etc .

For a Clear understanding of the differences :
CrossOver Differentiators - CodeWeavers

(Wow, I wish they had an affiliate system , cause I do sound like a salesman don't I, not the intention, Only presenting my views on "XP-mode")
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #15

Windows 7

Just to make an update to this thread, as I was wondering about the same question, now VMware does include an option very similar to what Windows XP mode allows. I have VMware Workstation 7.0.1 and using their Unity feature.

Looks like it was introduced in Ver 6.5:
VMware Workstation 6.5 Release Notes

Unity mode — Integrate your favorite guest applications with your host. Open the application window, enter Unity mode, and the Workstation window is automatically minimized. The guest application windows look just like host application windows, but with color-coded borders. You can access the virtual machine's Start menu (for Windows virtual machines) or Applications menu (for Linux virtual machines) by placing the mouse pointer over the host's Start or Applications menu, or by using a key combination.

It works great.. I have IE running on my Linux box this way right now :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #16

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Yes, I've posted numerous times on here that Unity and VMWare Player (Free) or VMWare Workstation (not-free) are an awesome combination.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2010   #17

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
Since I originally posted this thread vmware (and vbox) have improved considerably.

As pparks1 says the UNITY feature will provide most of the integration features of XPMode.

Vmplayer now (version 3) will allow you to CREATE Virtual machines as well as running them - although the old QEMU method still works.

Vmware player and workstation support W7 virtual machines in FULL AERO / 3D.

vmware server may do so later - but this product is updated usually a lot later than vmware player or workstation.

vmware products (if you have the VT feature enabled) will allow you to run 64 bit GUESTS on 32 bit HOSTS so you can run W7 X-64 or even W2008 server X-64 on say Windows 2003 server or even Windows XP --although of course as the HOST can only see up to 4GB your VM will also have less RAM available.

Note however you don't need to have the VT feature enabled to run vmware products but then you can only run 32 bit guests -- which is probably what most of the Forum members are interested in running anyway (XP primarily as a Virtual Machine with posibly some Windows 2000 users too).

Vmware products (and vbox -- although I haven't direct experience of vbox) will run on ANY version of windows 7 - not just professional and above.

With vmware you will have to provide your OWN version of XP (although there are some threads that explain how you can extract the XP from XP mode to run under vmware).

I think that XP mode was a good idea when introduced - but things have moved on considerably in the year or so its been out.

Moving "XP" type applications away from a desktop onto a "Virtual Server" might just be a much much better option for businesses as the performance is likely to be hugely better in any case. Even if employees are using company laptops the avilability of "VPN" and fast broadband internet the server route is likely to be much more beneficial.

I'm trying to see exactly what applications would you run in "XP Mode" -- perhaps people could give a list here.

Things like SAPGUI (the front end) WILL actually run on W7 - the backend of these still needs a 32 bit OS and can run quite happliy on a W2K3 virtual server -- as can several of the CAD packages that are still used in the 100,000's globally.

As for cost -- it would probably be cheaper for a company to license products to run on a server rather than zillions of desktop licenses - and certainly would be easier to maintain.

You will always need some stand alone desktop products such as typical office apps (EXCEL etc) but I'm now failing to either understand or see the need for XM MODE for daily "productive use". Virtual machines on the other hand have a HUGE role to play these days as individual machines can easily be tailored for gropus of users etc.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2010   #18

windows 7 x64

Vmware workstation by far,

-It was the first to do d3d and now does d3d 9c and opengl 2.1.
-It does multi monitors.
-7.1 beta can integrate shortcuts into the host start button like xp mode
-It lets you drag and drop files in and out of it and also cut/copy and paste between vm and host os.
-Definitely the fastest of all, not only does it do things faster but you can even see its smoother if you drag a window around or something.
-Like xp mode it integrates into the host start bar when doing seamless/unity mode, (but it has been able to do this since atleast 1.5 years ago so its quite refined now.)
-A virtualized Windows Vista or 7 can do aero in the virtual machine.

If you dont need save states, (which is another thing Vmware does the best of the 3), there is always the free Vmware player, baring that, Virtualpc is a decent 2nd choice, (and maybe the best choice for linux guests), as it can do some form of d3d and opengl and also use a vmlite plugin for guest shortcut launching but it cannot do most of the other stuff mentioned above as well or at all.

As someone who has used all 3 VMs for years (Vmware, Virtualbox and Virtualpc/xpmode), I can now tell you i see absolutely no reason to continue using Virtualpc/xpmode.

I feel that microsoft really could have done better with Virtualpc, being stuck in 16 bit colour is pretty lame and it is lacking in just about every way compared to the alternatives. It does not live up to the high standard set by the os it was made for. Virtualbox does show quite a bit of promise, I just hope oracle does not screw it up.

One more thing, both virtual box and Vmware workstation/player can import xpmode once its installed so you can still have a legal free copy of xp on them.

tldr: Vmware if you dont mind that its not free, Vmware player if you want it free, Virtualbox if you need a free one with save states and imo virtrualpc/xpmode = uuuugh.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2011   #19


I upgraded from XP to W7 in November, 2009 and immediately found the software and twain drivers required for our HP scanner with high speed document feeder were not compatible with W7. Since this was an expensive scanner and still worked well I was forced into a a Plan B.

I originally used XP mode to run the scanner and associated software (HP PrecisionScan Pro and Paperport). This worked but it was slow and kludgy. Simply, it was annoying to use.

In November, 2010 someone suggested I try VMWare. What a huge improvement! Everything now works just as fast as it did under the original XP environment (before W7), there are no stutters, and no crashes. VMWare recognizes and allows use of USB connected devices effortlessly rather than the issues I had with USB device under the troublesome XP mode. Under XP mode I had to start the needed software in a specific sequence or it crashed. Under VM there are just no problems.

From my experience the free VMWare is outstanding whereas XP mode just sucked in terms of reliable and fast performance.

Interestingly, I still must use 32 bit W7. I tried installing 64 bit W7, and VMware on a machine I use for testing and did so with no problems. Paperport and HP PrecisionScan Pro also installed without issue. Howerver, with 64 bit W7, the HP twain drivers will just not work and the software just does not communicate with the scanner, even though the scanner is seen and properly installed per the Device manager.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows XP compatability mode Vs VMWARE

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