Microsoft has announced that Windows XP Mode Release Candidate for Windows 7 is now available for download. According to the company, many applications that currently run on Windows XP-based or Windows Vista-based PCs should just run natively on Windows 7. Microsoft refers to Windows XP Mode as "last mile" compatibility technology for cases when a Windows XP productivity application isn't compatible with Windows 7. Users can run and launch Windows XP productivity applications in Windows XP Mode directly from a Windows 7 desktop.
New features in Windows XP Mode RC include:
- You can now attach USB devices to Windows XP Mode applications directly from the Windows 7 task-bar. This means your USB devices, such as printers and flash drives, are available to applications running in Windows XP Mode, without the need to go into full screen mode.
- You can now access Windows XP Mode applications with a "jump-list". Right click on the Windows XP Mode applications from the Windows 7 task bar to select and open most recently used files.
- You now have the flexibility of customizing where Windows XP Mode differencing disk files are stored.
- You can now disable drive sharing between Windows XP Mode and Windows 7 if you do not need that feature.
Windows XP Mode RC requires RC or RTM version of Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise. It also requires additional 1 GB of RAM, 15 GB of available disk space, and processor capable of hardware virtualization with AMD-V or Intel VT turned on in the BIOS.