Microsoft removes VM hardware requirements, improves XP mode

by admin March 19, 2010 at 9:26 am

Microsoft made a slew of virtualization announcements today, affecting both current and future products. Arguably the most important tidbit is that the company has removed the virtualization layer’s hardware requirements for the XP Mode available in Windows 7. Those already running XP Mode don’t need to bother updating since they already have it working, but users who were unsure of their PC hardware can grab the update and try out XP Mode on Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise, or Windows 7 Ultimate. The update is available for Windows 7 32-bit (3.7MB) and Windows 7 64-bit (4.1MB).

Microsoft has been criticized for complicating things by having XP Mode only work on processors that supported either Intel’s VT or AMD’s AMD-V. This requirement was troublesome and confusing, as many Intel owners weren’t sure if their CPU supported hardware virtualization, and if it did, whether it was turned on in the BIOS. Now that problem has been eliminated, removing a barrier to the adoption of Windows 7 among small and mid-size businesses that still cling to Windows XP.

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