If you need to access programs designed for Windows XP that have not been upgraded to Windows Vista or 7, XP Mode creates a virtual environment within Windows 7. It is similar to MED-V, Microsoft’s virtualization technology aimed at large corporations.. It consists of Windows Virtual PC 7.0, a new version of Microsoft's client-based virtualization product line, and a fully licensed install of Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3) and using it couldn’t be simpler. You can use Windows XP mode to access a virtualized instance of Windows XP that can be customized with your own applications. You can also use Windows XP mode with Windows 7 to run applications seamlessly in Windows 7 when the applications are actually installed in Windows XP. It also includes support for USB devices and is based on a new core that includes multi-threading support. However, Windows XP mode is available free only for the 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise, and Windows 7 Ultimate and not Home variants.
Before you begin
To install Windows XP you first need to download and install an update from the Windows XP Mode website or the Virtual PC website which contains the Microsoft Virtual PC application. Also, you need to ensure that your computer either runs the Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate as Windows XP mode is not supported on Home variants. Hardware wise, you must have virtualization enabled (Intel VT or AMD-V technologies must be available for your processor and enabled from the BIOS.)