OK, I confess. I’m kind of lost when I read “Windows 7 XP Mode”. Does that mean you can run Windows XP in Windows 7 like Parallels allow Mac OS X users to run Windows in OS X? To make things clear, here’s what Windows 7 XP Mode really means.
Windows XP Mode is designed to provide small business and mid-sized businesses running Windows 7 Professional (or higher) the ability to run Windows XP productivity applications that may not be natively compatible with Windows 7. We expect many Windows XP applications to be compatible Windows 7 however Windows XP Mode is meant to serve as an added safety net so small and mid-sized businesses can migrate and run Windows 7 without any road blocks. Windows 7 Professional is designed to meet the needs of small and mid-sized businesses.
[via windows teams blog]
I’ve been using Windows 7 since the final release was posted to MSDN (read my how to upgrade windows vista to Windows 7 guide). So far all my applications are working fine and I’ve never find the need to download a special version of software that can only run on Windows 7 or come across a software that works on Windows XP only and not on Windows 7 whatsoever. Generally, software that runs on Windows XP runs on Windows Vista, and thus won’t have any problem running on Windows 7, though I can see why some enterprise applications might have legacy issues and thus need the XP mode. My bet is that most users won’t find any need to get the Windows 7 XP mode anyway.