As you should now be aware, Windows 7 RTM is available to download for TechNet Plus subscribers, but what does that mean for Windows Virtual PC, and Windows XP Mode?  If you think back, when Windows 7 hit Release Candidate, Virtual PC and XP Mode were in beta, so are these same versions applicable to the RTM of Windows 7? No.  Time to upgrade your Windows Virtual PC and XP Mode to the Release Candidate stage.

For those of you who are currently thinking, “what is XP Mode?” Brandon on the Windows blog has a pretty good explanation.  In summary – it’s all about the ‘last mile’ of application compatibility. Still worth a read of Brandon’s post though.

Before you move to RC however, don’t you want to know what’s new?

  • Manage USB devices with virtual applications: You can attach and detach USB devices while running virtual applications. The USB device management UI can be easily accessed form the right click context menu of the Virtual Applications icon, on task bar.
  • Jump list for virtual applications: Right clicking on the virtual application icon, on Windows 7 taskbar, displays a jump list that allows one to easily launch virtual applications from the taskbar.
  • Drive share settings: You can select the host computer drives that you would like to share with the virtual machine; in the virtual machine settings.
  • Windows XP Mode tutorial: A tutorial that introduces the user to Windows XP Mode features is displayed during Windows XP Mode Setup.
  • Faster Windows XP Mode setup: Improvements have been done to reduce the setup time for Windows XP Mode.
  • Compact differencing disks: You can now compact the differencing virtual hard disk to reduce the size occupied on the disk.
  • Support for optional components install in XP Mode: Windows XP optional components can be installed in Windows XP Mode.
  • Choose destination location for XP Mode files: You can choose the destination folder to store all virtual machine files for Windows XP Mode during XP Mode setup.

Important Note: Beta to RC upgrade is not supported. You need to uninstall the Beta version of Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode before installing the RC bits.  To understand the process, please read these notes!

You can grab all the bits from the Windows Virtual PC Download site.