Windows Virtual PC is Coming…

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Over on the Windows Blog, Scott Woodgate has given us a brief glance of Windows Virtual PC, which will be part of Windows 7.  One of the most exciting features is the new “Windows XP mode” which is designed to help people with Windows XP applications as they move to Windows 7:


You can read about it here.  Stay tuned for more details soon.


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  • I *hate* these teasers! Looking forward to your detailed articles :-)

  • I'm hoping that this is more than just Virtual PC with an XP VM installed. To really be useful, the integration with XP Mode would need to be more seamless than the typical VM ends up being. Storage synchronization and printer synchronization are major hurdles keeping the average user from utilizing a VM easily. "No, storing your document in MyDocuments didn't really store it on your MyDocuments folder, it stored it inside a virtual MyDocuments folder inside a virtual drive file and you can't really get at it from Windows Explorer."

    If Microsoft has ironed out these sorts of issues, then XP Mode will be fabulous! Could it also be a way to run DOS and 16 bit applications on x64 systems? I can't wait to hear more on this!

  • It will be interesting to see how well integrated the applications will be with the host machine.

    It definitely looks like it's been done right with the hosted apps running on the host's screen instead of entire hosted desktop.  

    I look forward to seeing this develop.  In fact, I can see this really freeing Microsoft to finally start moving forward more freely without having to constantly worry about reverse compatibility.  If an app needs Windows X and its glitches, instead of continuing to emulate them, just run it inside a Windows X VM - perhaps beside Windows Y and Windows Z VMs simultaneously!

    I can even see the day when even apps targeted for the current OS version are run inside VMs for security sandboxing purposes.

  • Do you expect regular/ standard non IT pro users to understand how to use such option !!! Having dual operating systems on their machine just to be able to run legacy application that used to work with XP but not with Win7. Well, This is really adding complexity for standard users !! and also for IT Administrators to admin the host and the XP mode OS through GPO !!

  • Tarek -> Hopefully this feature will eventually be as simple to use as setting the compatibility setting already available in Windows.

    However, we'll have to see what the first version looks like.  If it is too kludgy, we will have to encourage MS towards a more ideal solution in the future.

  • Ben,

    I see that Microsoft's Virtual PC website seems to have been been updated from the Virtual PC 2007 to the new Virtual PC beta release that is Windows 7 XPM content heavy.

    While looking at the features and comparisons pages I see lots of new/enhanced features are noted.  Of note to me, USB support.

    Question:  Is this new Virtual PC beta release only Windows 7 compatible?

    Or will it install on Vista and/or XP OS versions as well?  I understand that the XPM feature wouldn't work without Windows 7, but might some of the other features?

    If Windows 7 only, are there any plans for additional Virtual PC release updates for XP/Vista compatible systems as well?  Or will it be either the existing VPC 2007 or VPC (for Windows 7) moving forward?

    Thanks for any clarifications you could give on the different release versions of Virtual PC and OS support.


    --Claus V.

  • On the desktop, I think MS and others are missing the point.  People don't virtualize 20 machines on their desktop... they virtualize one or two, and want them to perform as well as possible... especially for testing scenarios.

    While I appreciate the efforts on desktop virtualization in the forms of VPC, Vbox and VMW Workstation, they simply don't make enough use of the resources of my desktop machine... and I wind up turning to higher end solutions even for basic testing.

    Until a desktop option can use EVERY core & hyperthread of my i7 quad, dynamically use the RAM, x64 support, and route some video function (directx, opengl)... then it's just not a serious attempt at desktop virtualization.  VMware workstation is the closest so far, but still so limited.

    So... two questions if you'll indulge me...

    Can we expect any of that from VirtualPC on WIndows 7?

    Can we expect Hyper-V support for more cores in vSMP, or any kind of real video support?

  • hi,

    how can i run windows xp application in windows 7? with that application mode?

  • Are there any plans to implement 3D hardware acceleration for the VM?

    This would be usefull for running games that use 3D and have compatibility issues with Vista/Windows 7 and need XP to run.

  • Just tried it on my laptop.

    Thinkpad x200s with Core 2 Duo SL9400 (6M Cache, 1.86 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB, Low Voltage), 4GB DDR3, Win7 RC1 x64 7100, 7200 RPM HDD.

    Ran slow as mollasses.  (VMWare Workstation by comparison screams on this machine.  Yes I uninstalled it first).

    Wouldn't let me change the User name from 'User' (I could create new users but attempting to log on as them gave me a policy restriction message).  

    Couldn't change color from 16-bit or 1024x768 (I hate Luna mode for it's unprofessional look and like classic but in 16-bit classic doesn't even have gradient title bars).  (Mind you, I love Aero).

    This machine also ran slow with Hyper-V enabled.  I thought it was this issue

    but my video card is not high end (Intel GMA X4500HD)

  • Will this new version of Virtual PC allow a x64 host to run x64 guests?

  • No more nasty emulated S3 VGA card, now it uses an RDP display device.  This has the potential to be a serious win, particularly given the enhancements for proxying 3D primitives over RDP that were discussed at the PDC.  I've only given it a quick look thus far, and certainly there isn't any 3D support in the current bits, but the hooks are there.   Time to try Win7 in a Win7 VM.

  • I don't have a processor with hardware assisted virtulization, so Windows Virtual PC doesn't work. And Windows 7 doesn't let me install Virtual PC 2007 (compatibility issues)

    What should I do? Move to VMWare? I'm sure there's a bunch of laptops with crappy processors like mine....

    Back to windows 7 beta until I can figure this out :(

  • No support for x64 guests - that's unfortunate.  Also, my early post about RDP is clearly only partially correct.  Virtual Windows XP mode uses an RDP display driver, but when I installed Win7 as a guest and added the Integration Components I was back to an emulated S3 card.  Feh.

  • I feel so disappointed about no 64bit guest support....VMWare even allow 64bit guest on 32bit host....

    Do you know how VMWare guys laughing on me(I am supporting MS in my heart)? :-(

    My boss even asking me to remove all Virtual PC and install VMWare to our classroom PC!!!

    I don't think every software tester want to install Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V for testing 64bit applications.

    For training, it means all the classroom computers need to install Windows Server 2008's too trouble for a training center to do so........

    I hope MS can really explain why no 64bit guest OS support on client OS...

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Windows Virtual PC is Coming…