Ahead of the 22 October release date for the new Windows 7 operating system, Microsoft has just issued a release candidate (RC) of Windows XP Mode for users that want to run older applications incompatible with Vista or Windows 7.
The beta version of XP Mode was released back in April 2009 and following user feedback the RC was unveiled yesterday with a few new features including the ability to disable drive sharing between Windows XP Mode and Windows 7 if you need to.
XP Mode runs on Microsoft’s Virtual PC and as such is a virtualisaiton platform for ensuring legacy software runs on the new operating system, a mode useful for many businesses that typically stick with the same enterprise software or applications longer than the consumer segment.
"Windows XP Mode is specially designed for small and medium-sized businesses to help ease the migration process to Windows 7 by providing additional compatibility for their older productivity applications," said Brandon LeBlance on the official Windows 7 blog.
LeBlanc said that in many cases XP Mode will not be needed because Windows 7 has strong compatability with Vista and many programs that run in both XP and Vista should run natively in Windows 7.
"Windows XP Mode provides what we like to call that ‘last mile’ compatibility technology for those cases when a Windows XP productivity application isn’t compatible with Windows 7. Users can run and launch Windows XP productivity applications in Windows XP Mode directly from a Windows 7 desktop."
You can download the RC of XP Mode for Windows 7 here.