Microsoft offers – probably for downwards compatibility issues – a free Microsoft Windows XP Licence in the form of a Virtual Machine plus the virtualization ‘platform’ Windows Virtual PC, successor to Virtual PC 2007. This version of WindowsVirtual PC is only compatible to run on Microsoft Windows 7.
Features of Virtual PC for Microsoft Windows 7:
- USB support and redirection – connect peripherals such as flash drives and digital cameras, and print from the guest to host OS printers
- Seamless application publishing and launching – run Windows XP Mode applications directly from the Windows 7 desktop
- Support for multithreading – run multiple virtual machines concurrently, each in its own thread for improved stability and performance
- Smart card redirection – use smart cards connected to the host
- Integration with Windows Explorer – manage all VMs from a single Explorer folder (%USER%\Virtual Machines)
The virtual machine is called Microsoft Windows XP Mode (XPM) for Microsoft Windows 7 and is – as of today – available for download in Release Candidate (RC) state.