Last week, Microsoft’s Windows 7 team announced the XP Mode feature for the upcoming operating system. XP Mode is intended to allow users to use their old XP applications inside Windows 7 using virtualization. The idea was actually intended to be for businesses, which is now becoming more obvious. Some consumer computers, specifically laptops will not be able to use XP Mode.
The reason why is simple: XP Mode, when running on Intel chips requires Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT). For many businesses it shouldn’t be an issue getting laptops with chips that have the technology. There are a lot of consumer laptops that use Intel chips that do not support this technology, however. A large number of chips in the Core 2 Duo line, one of the most popular chip lines for laptops don’t have Intel VT, making it difficult to find the ones that do. Of course, Intel’s labeling system can also contribute to confusion, there’s a lot of similarly numbered Core 2 Duo chips out there.
This actually does make sense, but it still depressing for those who don’t have Intel VT chips and maybe wanted to use XP Mode for something. It might turn out to be sort of a blessing for Microsoft if the average consumer can’t use XP Mode. It will force them to find programs that are better suited for 7, and not break up the GUI as much. It will also force developers to make Windows 7 versions of software rather than relying on the XP version. Though it might not convince people to switch from XP given the choice. I know I’ve run into a large number of people who groan when I tell them about the available Windows 7 RC, thinking it’s just the same as Vista.
Read [CNet News]