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Are you glad you didn't buy Windows 7 Home Premium?

I'm thinking of buying a Windows 7 laptop and am trying to decide which version of Windows 7 to get. "XP mode" sounds great but other than that I see no other significant features added on to Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate.

Plus I've heard that XP mode runs on Windows 7 Home Premium anyways, it just doesn't come with the XP license. I also heard you could just use a free piece of virtualization software on Home Premium and that it was better than XP mode. Any opinions welcome.

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Comments
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I'm confused.

Sorry no. I was very glad to buy Windows 7 Home Premium. It was a great deal for us since we got that family 3 pack for 150 bucks.

At work we are very happy to use Windows 7 Pro. The few features added in Ultimate are only worth it to a select few.

-> As to that free virtualization software I'm left to guess you meant Virtual Box. Sorry but I use that and can't agree it's better than what I use in 7 Pro.
Bob

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family pack

I'm not exactly sure about this, but is that the upgrade or the full install?

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I'm sure.

We've used both versions over the past year. So my answer has to be "Yes!"

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Make sure you got 7-drivers for all your hardware

XP-mode from Microsoft needs 7Pro or better to run - XP license is included.

If you want XP on 7Premium you need 3rd party VM software (VirtualBox or VMware) *and* a XP license key. Not exactly a noob job to get it up n going.

You may want to consider Vista instead XP since most oldish software still runs fine on Vista - with a 3rd party VM you can install everything in the VM - not just XP.

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thank you

thank you for the comments. I'm confused by what you mean by "with a 3rd party VM you can install everything in the VM - not just XP." With XP mode you can also install whatever apps you want from within XP mode, correct?

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just means..

..you can run any OS inside a VM like VirtualBox or VMware (both are freeware) while MS XP-mode is a limited WinXP only which expires next year anyway.

Limited means you can't run 3D games/applications in XP-mode since there is no DirectX support implemented. However, XP-mode a chunky 1GB installation, I hope your HDD is big, and you should have at least 4GB ram and a decent CPU. Hardware virtualisation is a bonus too but only with latest hardware (system board) available.

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ok

thank you for the info. So if I wanted to get Windows 7 Pro do you know of any places that sell laptops with it in the $300 - 600 range, or is that not realistic? I'm hoping for a Black Friday deal maybe. The places I've looked at always include Home Premium and there was no info about having 7 Pro pre-installed instead.

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7Pro..

..is the easiest way to get a XP-VM going, yes!

where you can buy a laptop in the US? well, I am in Australia Happy
Just make sure the CPU is at least ~3Ghz, 4GB DDR3 and at least a 300GB HDD - sounds to me your price range is a bit too low.

Just tell your shop you want 7Pro and they will do.

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another question

thank you for all the replies everyone. Given the options discussed for running XP programs on Windows 7, do you think I should get a 32bit or 64bit Windows 7 system? 64bit is going to be the future but I heard that XP programs will have a harder time running on 64bit.

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go 64

...since 32bit can only address 3.5GB ram - end of story! 64bit runs even smoother than 32 bit but all provided you have 64 bit drivers for all your hardware/peripherals. Sometimes Vista64 drivers are compatible.

Under 7 itself (not VM or XP-mode), no matter 32 or 64, most XP software usually fails to even install or run properly. However, check with the software manufacturer if there is a chance it runs fine. That's actually why XP-mode has been released by Microsoft, for free, to end the compatibility issues.

XP in a VM - it does not matter which 7 flavour (32/64) you run both will work just fine.

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went 64

Not looking back. And if I did, I found one and only one app/device I use XP mode for. If I replace that, the need for XP Mode almost vanishes.
Bob

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