Windows 7's XP mode 
Wednesday, 6 May, 2009, 20:41
Posted by Administrator
... so people are all up in arms about how not all hardware will support Windows 7's XP mode, griping about how Microsoft sucks and things of that nature. How very typical of the community to start bitching about this stuff.

Let me take a step back ... x86-64 hasn't made it into every household just yet, and the 64-bit operating systems that can take advantage of the architecture haven't fully filtered down to the consumer. The architecture first hit the market with AMD's Opteron processor (which targeted the server market), but it's been around since 2003. Hardware and software manufacturers have been given plenty of time to get their act together and ensure compatibility. Yes, I know there were previous 64-bit implementations, but let's see what happens when Joe Consumer buys an Itanium-based workstation and attempts to load his copy of Windows XP Home on there ... not gonna happen.

If something that has been around since 2003 can't make it into each and every PC-owning home, then AMD-V and Intel VT-x sure as hell won't either -- they came out around 2006. People who go out and buy a grossly overpowered machine to handle their Word docs, Youtube browsing, and Excel files are probably covered here and should be glad. But, as I said, if you go get a $250 clearance machine at a big box retailer that's probably been sitting on a shelf for 18 months, you're pretty much guaranteed not to have the latest technology.

With the above said, we can't say that all CPUs have the 64-bit extensions, and we also can't say that all CPUs have hardware-assisted virtualization capability. But if you want to use these features and you have a pile of crap computer, don't you think it's time to upgrade?

Also, if you don't want to upgrade, Microsoft Virtual PC has been available for free since 2006. No, it doesn't look as slick as Windows 7's XP mode, but it serves the same function and does so without the need for hardware virtualization support.

Anyway ... have fun chewing on my rambling there.
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