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Is XP Mode Worth the Trouble?

OK, now that I've lambasted Gartner, I do have to admit the group was one of the first to push the idea of giving Windows 7 a virtual machine to run older apps. Actually, this was an idea I and a few others also promoted and, as I recall, slightly before Gartner made its pronouncement. Microsoft -- being, I believe, far smarter than me or Gartner -- was apparently already working on what's now known as Windows 7 XP Mode.

The idea is simple: A full rev of XP runs alongside Windows 7 so all your old apps and drivers still work. The implementation is a bit more complicated. First, your PC's processor must be virtualization-enabled. Second, you need a high-end version of Windows 7 (Home Basic users need not apply).

The biggest issue involves security and administration. Let's face it -- you're now running two complete operating systems which must be managed, secured, updated and patched. Is all this worth the trouble just to run a handful of older apps? You're the expert, so you tell me at

Posted by Doug Barney on October 28, 2009 at 11:53 AM