With the release of the XP Mode Release Candidate, there has been a lot of talk and confusion around when XP Mode is a ideal solution and when you should look at Med-V as a solution . I thought I would take a few minutes to clear up any confusion.
Well, let me start with actually talking a bit about [Windows] XP Mode.
We introduced Windows Virtual PC in Windows 7 with new capabilities, such as support for USB (Universal Serial Bus) devices, and seamlessly integrating the Virtual PC applications into the Windows 7 desktop and making them available for the users from the start menu. Windows XP Mode is just a preconfigured Windows XP virtual image and it is available for any user that has Windows 7 Pro [Professional] and above. The whole Windows XP Mode is specifically designed to help small business users run Windows XP application on Windows 7 in case that the application would not run on a Windows 7 operating system.
However, you ask why people need something beyond that, then with [Windows] XP Mode, users are required to setup their Windows XP applications themselves. I mean each physical PC has its own virtual Windows XP environment and is controlled and managed by the end-user. It is not designed for IT environments or centrally managed deployments. And this is exactly where you need MED-V. MED-V adds everything that is required to support the larger deployments of [Windows] XP Mode. It includes the provisioning of an IT configured virtual machine, customizing the specific XP environments on the end-devices to connect to the [Microsoft] Active Directory® domain and to adjust the settings of the
Virtual PC to the specific parameters of the device. So it adjusts them according to the network setting of the device, according to the amount of memory available, and other settings on the PC. Finally, MED-V will also offer monitoring and troubleshooting for all those Virtual PC deployed in the environment.
So here are some breakdowns to answer common questions
What is Windows XP Mode, Windows Virtual PC and MED-V?
Windows XP Mode is specifically designed to help small businesses users to run their Windows XP applications on their Windows 7 desktop.
Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) is designed for IT Professionals.
Which customers should use Windows XP Mode?
Windows XP Mode is suitable for small and medium business users, who are able to set their XP applications themselves or with the help of an IT professional.
Each device has its own virtual Windows XP environment, that is controlled and managed by the end user.
Windows XP Mode is not designed for large, centrally managed deployments, and is not suitable for organizations that have widely deployed business applications that require Windows XP.
How does MED-V adds management to Windows Virtual PC?
To provide a managed, scalable solution for running virtual Windows XP applications, MED-V addresses many of the IT challenges around deployment and management including:
How do I purchase MED-V?
MED-V is licensed as part of MDOP subscription that is available for purchase for Software Assurance customers.
What are the key features of new version of Windows Virtual PC?
Easy setup of Windows XP Mode – Once both the Windows Virtual PC and the virtual Windows XP environment are installed, Windows Virtual PC provides a simple wizard to setup the Windows XP Mode with just a few clicks.
USB Support - Users can access USB devices attached to Windows 7 directly from Windows Virtual PC. These devices include Printers and Scanners, Flash Memory/Sticks and External Hard Disks, Digital Cameras and more.
Seamless Applications – Publish and Launch applications installed on Windows Virtual PC directly from the Windows 7 desktop, as if they were installed on the Windows 7 itself.
Folder Integration between Windows 7 and Windows Virtual PC– Access your Windows 7 Known Folders: My documents, Pictures, Desktop, Music, Video, from inside the virtual windows environment, such as Windows XP Mode
Clipboard Sharing – Cut and paste between your Windows 7 and Windows Virtual PC.
Printer Redirection – Print directly to your attached printer from your Windows Virtual PC applications either in application mode or desktop mode.
SPECIAL THANKS TO Ran Oelgiesser and Fei Lu for their help with this post.