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Clarifying: the new virtual PC, Windows XP mode for Windows 7, and MED-V

Clarifying: the new virtual PC, Windows XP mode for Windows 7, and MED-V

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There is an interview with Scott Woodgate,  published as  press release on press pass  entitled Helping Small Businesses With Windows 7 Professional and Windows XP Mode. After starting to speculate about this a little too soon, I want to clarify what the bits are. Because XP mode allows something which was previously only in MED-V, the term “Med-V Lite” has been used but this is an over simplification – perhaps misleadingly so. MED-V and Windows XP Mode service different audiences and solve different business problems:

Windows Virtual PC

  • is hosted virtualization (sometimes called a type II hypervisor); by comparison hyper-V in Server 2008 is a bare-metal virtualization (sometime called a type 1 hypervisor).
  • enables users to run multiple instances of Windows on a single device (although not all Windows versions are licence for additional instances in VMs).
  • will enable users to launch many older applications seamlessly in a virtual Windows XP environment from the Windows 7 start menu. Previously this was only available as part of MED-V; now this is done in Windows Virtual PC using a wizard.
  • includes support for USB devices and is based on a new core that includes multi-threading support
  • Provides Folder, clipboard and printer Integration with the the host OS
  • There’s a run down of the changes here note the requirement for a modern CPU.

Windows XP Mode

  • combines Windows Virtual PC and a pre-installed Windows XP SP3 VHD (Virtual Hard disk) file.
  • is designed for smaller business customers who need to run Windows XP applications on their windows 7 desktops where end users control the XP environment.
  • is available for pre-install from OEMs (which we think will give the best experience) and also for download for Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate customers.

MED-V

  • is the management layer for IT professionals on top of Virtual PC.
  • is designed for larger organizations with a proper management infrastructure, and a need to deploy a centrally-managed virtual Windows XP environment  on either Windows Vista or Windows 7 desktops.
  • The main management areas it helps in are:
    • Deployment – delivering virtual Windows images and customizing per user and device settings, (for instance: assigning the virtual PC a name that is derived from the physical device name or the username to simplify identification and management), adjusting virtual PC memory allocation based on available RAM on host etc.
    • Provisioning – defining which applications and websites are available to different users, assigning virtual PC images to users directly or based on group membership. defining which applications in the guest OS are available on the Host’s start menu, and which web sites are redirected to the guest’s browser.
    • Control – maginging usage permissions and Virtual PC settings, Control whether the Virtual PC connects using the hosts IP address with Network Address translation or gets an an address through DHCP, Authenticating user before granting access to the Virtual PC, setting an expiry date for the the Virtual PC
    • Maintanance and Support - updating images using TrimTransfer network image delivery – when a master image is changed the PCs using it receive the changes (not the whole VHD file) , aggregating events from all users in a central database
  • Runs on Windows 7 and Windows Vista, and will not require processor-based virtualization support
Comments
  • ComputerWorld have an interesting piece up about XP Mode for Windows 7. Saying that it “could create

  • I hinted in one of my final posts before holiday , that there would be some big announcements taking

  • To provide additional clarification: Does this new version of VPC run on Windows XP hosts or is Virtual PC 2007 the last version that will do that ?

  • Alan:

    It's not clear if it will run on earlier versions of Windows. Mary Jo Foley asked Scott Woodgate http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=2621

    MJF: Will Virtual XP also work with Vista? If so, which SKUs? Will it be available for Vista in the same timeframe as for Win 7?

    Woodgate: Windows XP Mode is a feature of Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, Enterprise.  It isn’t available for Windows Vista. Specifically, Software Assurance customers of Windows Vista are able to run this scenario due to the 4 VM (virtual machine) right in Software Assurance

    That's not quite the same question: the XP virtual machine machine *might* only set itself up if running on 7. I haven't got a definite answer about the virtual PC part yet, but I'll check.

  • But MED-V still only supports 32-bit hosts, right? Limits the usefulness, as 64-bit gradually enters the desktop of power users who refuse to be confined by the odd 3GB of memory.

  • Jim, Virtual PC 2007 supports 64 bit according to what Scott Woodgate said, Med-V 1 remains 32 bit only, Med-V 2 will be 32 or 64 bit.

    What's not clear is whether Med-V 2 will support 64 bit only platforms other than windows 7 and whether it will use Windows-Virtual-PC or Virtual-PC-2007 on those platforms.

  • Jim, Virtual PC 2007 supports 64 bit according to what Scott Woodgate said, Med-V 1 remains 32 bit only, Med-V 2 will be 32 or 64 bit.

    What's not clear is whether Med-V 2 will support 64 bit only platforms other than windows 7 and whether it will use Windows-Virtual-PC or Virtual-PC-2007 on those platforms.

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