Preloaded with the Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise editions, the virtualized Windows XP mode is one of the most talked about features of the new Windows OS. The applications run on a virtualized copy of Windows XP and are thereon displayed in the Windows 7 Start menu and on the Windows 7 desktop. This feature rules out the compatibility issues with older productivity applications and certain programmes, thus promising a smoother transition to Windows 7. Designed specifically for small businesses, this tool promises to be a powerful feature.

The XP mode utilizes the virtualization technology that poses greater system requirements as compared to Windows 7. You can download it as a free add on to your Windows Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate edition. While 2GB of RAM and 15 GB of extra disk space are fairly reasonable, the troubling element is the CPU that supports chip level hardware virtualization. Both Intel and AMD claim to support the virtualization mode. However none of these manufacturers are particularly clear on the exact chips that support the virtualization technology. To check the chip compatibility, you will need to download a diagnostics tool provided by the Chip manufacturer.

Check the Intel’s Processor Identification Utility to check if your PC supports virtualization. Next to the Intel(R) Virtualization Technology’ a ‘Yes’ would be displayed to confirm that your chip is tuned in to support the virtualized XP feature. Similarly AMD users can check the compatibility of their PC with AMD Virtualization Compatibility Check Utility