General discussion

Can I run my current Windows XP software programs on Windows 7?


Can I run my current Windows XP software programs on Windows 7?

Hi CNET, I'm planning to upgrade to a new desktop when
Windows 7 becomes available. But I have a lot of programs on
my current XP Home system that I want to continue running.
Some of them are fairly new, and I don't want to pay to
upgrade all of them. I've heard about some sort of XP
virtualization program on Windows 7 that will allow me to run
XP programs. Is this true? Could someone explain to me how
this works? Would it allow me to run my current programs on
a new system? If this isn?t the case, is there anything I
can do to run my current XP programs on Windows 7 or am I out
of luck? Thanks!

--Submitted by Bryan from Wilmington, Del.

Here are some featured member answers to get you started, but
please read all the advice and suggestions that our
members have contributed to this question.

XP programs on Windows 7... --Submitted by Watzman

Windows XP program compatibility --Submitted by RyGuy121

Running older programs on XP... --Submitted by Wolfie2k5

Most newer software will work --Submitted by ramarc

Most XP programs will work in Win 7 --Submitted by buckstermcgee

Wait there's more below, so please continue reading all the advice in the the discussion thread below.

If you have any additional advice for Bryan, please click on the reply link below and post it. Please be as specific as possible when posting an answer and if you have resources to share link to them in your posts. Thanks!
Discussion is locked
Reply to: Can I run my current Windows XP software programs on Windows 7?
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Can I run my current Windows XP software programs on Windows 7?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
- Collapse -
most newer software will work

generally, if it runs ok in vista it will run ok in win7. if it's wonky in vista, it probably won't run in win7 since they provide virtualization to run a full xp install within win7.

if you're not running vista, run both the vista and win7 upgrade advisors to root out any software on your pc that is known to be problematic.

you can also compatibilty for specific apps in vista using this tool (a win7 tool should be out next month):

- Collapse -
Best Solution: Run each Windows OS on a Virtual PC

Much Better Solution:
It is worth your time to read the full article here:

Windows Virtual PC
The successor to Virtual PC 2007, Windows Virtual PC, entered public beta testing on April 30, 2009,[1] and is intended for release alongside Windows 7.[2] Unlike its predecessors, this version supports only Windows 7 host operating systems and requires hardware virtualization support (see Requirements).

Windows Virtual PC includes the following new features:[3]

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)

Down & Dirty Overview:
Windoes Virtual PC (for Windows 7) will allow you to create multiple virtual PCs. Each Virtual Windows has its own reality that beleives it is all alone with its hardware, and sees the other Virtual Window as a Networked PC. It is kind of like setting up your different users on one workstation, each user has thier own set of desktop shortcuts, programs and so on. But, there is a huge difference: When you create and log onto the next Virtual PC, it can have a different operating system. Each Virtual Windows ownes its own RAM, Hard Drive, registry, USB and so on. It is a great idea to set up two Virtual Windows with Windows 7. Call one Business and the other one Gaming. Log into both. Each Virtual Window will see the other one as a networded PC. If you install that new game from a stranger off the Internet, and it has a nasty driver that totally hoses up your registry and video drivers... your Business Virtual Window is untouched. Hey, you can even back up just your Gaming Virtual Window to restore it very quickly!

Practical Uses:
When the first Intel i-7 processer on Dell portable PC were available (don't ask the price!) a member at the Fox Pro Users group ran Window 7 RC1 with Windows Virtual PC. He had a Virtual PC running Microsoft SQL Server 2000, another one running SQL Server 2005, Running Windows 7 for Visual Fox Pro (latest), another one running Windows 7 for the next to last version of Visual Fox Pro, then he even had Windows 2000 for older Visual Fox Pro...
Bottome line: he had one single Portable running multiple OS to support ever version of Fox Pro (and that goes back a ways), they all appeared to be networked to share data.
With a three key click, he could hide or bring up any of these, they were all running at the same time.

Ideally, you want to run beta software on its own Virtual Window so it does not affect your production version.

So, if grandpa just learned Windows XP and is spitting on your 24" LCD monitor because he hates running Windows 7, don't send him off to the old age home. Modernize and let grandpa log in to Windows XP.

Wait until you see the price of Virtual Windows before making your decision!

- Collapse -
Best answer!

Why move to Windows 7 and pay hundreds of dollars? Have you ever thought about Linux? It's free and the contributions from the Linux community have made it absolutely spectacular. I use Ubuntu (9.04) and if youre looking for some visual asthetics, the compiz fusion desktop is awesome. None the less, you can get free games, office software and many other productive and entertaining software. Do some research before you pay to upgrade Happy
Some popular current Linux distros:
Suse (11.1)
Ubuntu (9.04)
Fedora (11)
Debian (5.0)

- Collapse -
Ever hear of gaming?

Because Linux does not support games (Crysis, Bioshock et al), broadcom NIC's, steep learning curve, the latest and greatest hardware support is minimal at best, you have no tech support if something should go wrong or not work properly other than Linux communities, and their answers are just as varied as the answers here. Let's also not forget how difficult Linux is not only to install but to compile. I will not even get into the command line interface.

- Collapse -
another episode

especially after the vista episode, why would anyone chance win7? many corporations skipped vista all together and likely will do the same with win7... for the average home consumer, why should they spend all this time researching about whether their hw & sw can support it? or spend time troubleshooting it? or spend time upgrading the hw and configuring it? ...when will ms allow us to work with our computers rather than work on it?

for those of you who will waste your time & money and still can not make win7 work like you thought it would, there is many variants of *nix operating systems that will meet your needs...

- Collapse -
"root out"?

Root Out - any software that M$ no longer supports? That's the same kind of effete smug attitude that makes M$ so reprehensible. A table lamp I bought in 1960 somehow still manages to work when I plug it in to my wall. My VHS tapes still work in my player.
M$ doesn't run the world; maybe someday they'll learn to fit in better.

- Collapse -
XP Programs on Windows 7 ...

GENERALLY, you will be able to run most XP programs on Windows 7 (for that matter, you should be able to run most programs period. I still use both some DOS programs and some Windows 3.1 programs and they still work).

There are, however, exceptions. The number of "problems" that you have will be greater if you run the 64-bit version of Windows instead of the 32-bit version (and this applies to the 64-bit versions of XP and Vista as well).

One solution to this that will work in SOME cases (note, only ***SOME***) is to run XP programs (or Windows 98 programs, or Windows 3.1 programs) in a "virtual" OS. In this case, you are running the programs under the operating system that they were actually written for, so OS compatability problems are solved. HOWEVER, they are running on a "Virtual PC", and that can introduce a new, different set of problems.

Some caveats here:

"Virtual PC" has been around for a while and is now a free Microsoft product. HOWEVER, you need a copy of each operating system that you want to install under virtual PC. And it will need it's own product key and you will have to activate it and it will have to be "validated" (does not apply to pre-XP OS').

So, one bottom line here is that you are typically going to have to acquire a full, legitimate copy of the OS in question (XP ??), and typically that is going to cost $100 to $300 depending on where and how you buy it (and ignoring the fact that in the not too distant future, you will not be able to buy it, because it will have been completely and totally discontinued (technically, it's discontinued now, but at this time, copies are still available)).

Another problem is that Microsoft's licenses forbit running some versions of some OS' on a "virtual" PC. For example, use of Vista Home on a virtual PC violates the terms of the EULA. But it's permitted with Vista Business.

Yet another problem is that SOME of the "Virtual PC" environments will run only on processors that support "virtualization technology", a set of hardware enhancements inside the CPU. There has been, until recently, very little rhyme or reason as to which CPUs had this and which didn't. In the case of Intel processors, for example, some "Core Duo" and "Core 2 Duo" have this feature and others don't. It's not a given that either faster or more expensive CPUs have it and less expensive or slower ones don't .... and it's not easy to tell if your CPU has it or doesn't. So you may be planning on circumventing some issue by using some form of "Virtual PC" and then you may find out that your planned solution won't run on your PC becasue your CPU doesn't support "Virtualization Technology". [There are programs you can run that tell you if your CPU does or does not support it.]

Windows 7 Professional will allow the FREE installation of "Virtual XP Mode". It doesn't come with the OS, but you can download it and install it free. This is basically "Virtual PC" BUT it COMES WITH a fully licensed, legal copy of Windows XP Professional that will activate and validate. That's the good news. The bad news (as I currently understand the situation) is that it does not work with Windows 7 Home Premium (or lower) and that it does require that the CPU have hardware "virtualization technology".

One final caveat, for the most part the "Virtual PC" technologies don't work when the hardware requires direct interaction with hardware. In particular, various device drivers of all types and USB devices have been problematic. So if the XP program that won't work under Vista or Windows 7 is, for example, a custom film scanner program that requires installation of hardware level drivers for the scanner and/or that interacts DIRECTLY with the hardware (e.g. not through a device driver), the entire "Virtual PC" approach may well not work. But there is no way to be sure other than to try it.

- Collapse -

Yet another problem is that SOME of the "Virtual PC" environments will run only on processors that support "virtualization technology", a set of hardware enhancements inside the CPU. There has been, until recently, very little rhyme or reason as to which CPUs had this and which didn't. In the case of Intel processors, for example, some "Core Duo" and "Core 2 Duo" have this feature and others don't. It's not a given that either faster or more expensive CPUs have it and less expensive or slower ones don't .... and it's not easy to tell if your CPU has it or doesn't. So you may be planning on circumventing some issue by using some form of "Virtual PC" and then you may find out that your planned solution won't run on your PC becasue your CPU doesn't support "Virtualization Technology". [There are programs you can run that tell you if your CPU does or does not support it.]"

Thank You for pointing this condition out. I believe that MANY, MANY users are going to be disappointed, even terribly upset, when they find that their new computer, or their old computer with a new $300 operating system, will not run Virtual XP. I have perused the Intel charts and there are more currently available processors that do NOT support "Virtualization Technology" than do. If a prospective buyer intends to use this feature, they MUST ascertain that their processor supports this technology.

As you point out, there is no obvious rhyme or reason to processors with and without this technology. Each processor number must be verified individually.

- Collapse -
xp programs on windows 7

i agree that there are xp programs and applications that work on vista. i also discovered that the same programs that do not work on the latter os's 64-bit versions do not work also on its 32-bit counterpart, especially the children's educational programs like jumpstart. i think this should be fully resolved before microsoft releases windows 7, otherwise it will just end up in the burner like vista.

- Collapse -
XP Programs on Windows7

Yes! It comes with XP mode. The downside is that you will only have XP protection. Windows7 protection goes "Poof"!

- Collapse -
Most Software Should be Backward Compatible

With the new operating system (OS), software application programs should be backward compatible. Although, the majority of the time as with new OSs it will not be perfect. The new OS will have software bugs or errata that may render the applications to have minor hickups. As time goes on along with OS updates these issues should be to a minimal to almost zero defects.

- Collapse -
A lot of it is.

Windows will probably find a fix for this now that I've opened my mouth. I have several gigs of LEGACY software. Stuff I downloaded and used from the days of my first windows 3.2 system. It runs the gamut from win 3.2, 95,98se, XP. the programs all reside in a folder on a remote network drive simply named software. My Vista machine has no trouble running any of the legacy software. What I find really interesting is these programs are not installed on the vista machine. I launch the Apps EXE and it runs just like it had been installed. It works for me, don't really care why, just find it interesting.

- Collapse -
XP software on Windows 7

Most works without any problem. At my company, we have a POS system that won't run under Vista, but runs fine under windows 7 (Beta & RC) with a little tweaking. Programs like Office 2000, 2007, and 2003, Firefox, even Magic Jack run great on Windows 7. With the RC, Magic Jack runs with no problem. It's definitely faster then Vista. The Virtual PC and Virtual XP are free downloads and run literally any XP program. The only caveat is audio recording software. I do free-lance reporting and found that under Windows 7, you cannot record audio from the Sound Mixer like you can under XP. The audio driver hides the mixer as a recording device. Most anti-virus & anti-malware programs work fine under it also. I installed Zoo Tycoon 2 and it worked. The expansion packs required administrator access to install. All in all, it's worth it to upgrade to Windows 7.

- Collapse -
Yes, Mostly.......

With Microsoft's "Virtual PC" and "XP Mode" you can run many older software titles under Windows 7 but you must have a processor in your computer that has "Virtualization Technology" support. Many AMD and Intel processors do and some do not. I have also been told by other industry professionals that I know that the virtualization technology built in to the AMD chips works better than the Intel chips in XP Mode. I have been using Windows 7 RC with XP Mode on a AMD Phenom II AM3 machine and I have run older XP titles successfully.

- Collapse -
Most likely but not always

There are some 32 bit programs (only a few) that simply will not run on a 64 bit OS. If you have a 64 bit processor you will have to decide whether to install the 32 or 64 bit version of Windows 7. Some newer programs do run faster on 64 bit systems, so it is not always a straightforward decision.

- Collapse -
32-bit vs. 64-bit CPUs and OS'

Re: "If you have a 64 bit processor ...."

All CPUs have pretty much been 64-bit since the Pentium 4 Prescot version (about 2004) with the exception of a few older Celeron processors. So pretty much anyone installing Windows 7 will have the 32-bit vs. 64-bit choice (it should be noted that Vista and even XP both have both 32-bit and 64-bit versions also; this isn't all that new at this point).

The primary reason for installing a 64-bit OS isn't speed, but memory. The most memory that a 32-bit OS can address is 4GB, and on almost all PCs, most of the last GB is lost due to use by the hardware itself, so with a 32-bit OS you are really limited, in most cases, to 3.xx gigabytes. Is that an issue? For most users, it's not, but if it is .... you need a 64-bit OS to access more memory (presuming that the chipset and motherboard will support it).

There are a LOT of potential problems, however, with 64-bit OS. There are a LOT of devices (most older devices, and even some newer ones) for which 64-bit device drivers do not exist. And there are a fair number of 32-bit programs that won't work under a 64-bit OS. So for most users, for whom the major benefit (more addressable memory) doesn't matter, it's worth thinking twice (3 times, 4 times) about going the 64-bit route.

- Collapse -
Yes, it is.

You are so right. Most of the programs run both on W7 32 and W7 64.

- Collapse -
Windows XP Program Compatability

Simply put, yes, you will be able to run your Windows XP apps on Windows 7. First, there is a good chance the programs will function normally, without any special attention. If this isn't the case, you can right click the program icon and go to Properties. Under the Compatibility tab, you can set the program to run under compatibility settings for Windows XP (or virtually any other Microsoft Operating System). This step will, in 99% of cases, allow legacy Windows XP programs to run fine under Windows 7. Lastly, if the program still refuses to run, you can use a virtualization program. Windows 7 Professional (one step up from Home Premium) and Windows 7 Ultimate both have access to a piece of software called "XP Mode." This is a free download from Microsoft that will only work on Windows 7 Professional and up, that gives you a copy of Windows XP in a virtualized environment in which you can install applications that will only work on XP. You will be able to access these programs normally from the start menu, but they will load in XP, removing any compatibility issues. Take note, however, that XP Mode requires specific hardware to function, so check Microsoft's website for more details if you require XP Mode. If you don't want to use Microsoft's XP Mode, you can always purchase virtualization software from 3rd party vendors. In addition, Microsoft offers a tool called the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, found at []. This tool will check all of your hardware and software to determine if your system would be compatible for an upgrade to Windows 7, but can also be used to find out if any specific applications are incompatible with Windows 7. I would highly recommend using this tool. All in all, application compatibility should not be too large of an issue with Windows 7, as the OS has been designed with backward compatibility in mind.

For more info on application compatibility, see

- Collapse -
xp application running win7 ultimate


I have two laptop as acer I3 - Aspire 5733 and Lenovo G560 dual core and both are Win 7 ultimate.
problem is lenovo is not supporting dictionary application which is working well in Acer.
which is saying error " fail to install the font " while running the application. dictionary application is PALS TAMIL E-DICTIONARY. kindly let me know if you know the way to solve to


- Collapse -
Does it help if you install the font yourself?

I've once had this message with a totally different program.

I could install the font manually (after copying it from the other PC) and all was fine. I didn't even have to copy the programs folder from Program Files if I remember well. Installing the font was the last thing the setup program did.


- Collapse -
Almost Definitely

Only in rare cases will older programs not run within Windows 7 on regular settings. In these rare cases when a a program will not run, there are two methods to try using to get these programs to work. First is by using the compatibility option in the application's .exe file Properties, where there are options to run the program as if it was in Windows XP, 2000, Vista, 98, etc., this option works most of the time for most programs. The other option, which is only available in the Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate editions of Windows 7 that are being run on newer Intel processors or AMD x64 processors with VT-x or Hyper-V, is "XP Mode", which is pretty much a souped-up virtual machine with Windows XP in it. In XP Mode, yu can start up into a fully functional Windows XP desktop, OR you can, after installing the program(s) you need, run them from outside the Virtual Machine on your Windows 7 desktop. So, the program will have the Windows XP style and run like in XP, but be on your Windows 7 desktop.

Of course, if you already have an XP license, and don't want to drop the extra money for Windows 7 Pro and don't think all your apps will work (even with compatibility mode), you can always use other Virtual Machine software, which wont give you the same "XP Mode" functions with the programs, but they work just as well. Programs like VirtualBox by Sun, are very good for free virtualization, if you need it.

But, in short, don't worry about losing program compatibility, I was able to get Photoshop version 4 (for Windows 95) running without XP Mode, using the compatibility mode included in (I'm fairly certain) all versions of Windows 7, but if you lose compatibility, and don't have 7 Pro or Ultimate, there are free ways of using your programs, like Virtualbox, out there.

- Collapse -
Most XP programs will work in Win 7

Hey Bryan, you already have all the answers you need from your first two posts: the ones from Ramarc and Watzman.

Basically, most programs from XP will work just fine with Windows 7. Of those programs that are older (designed before Vista existed) if any have a problem running correctly, they can be told to run in a compatibility mode. This includes modes for:

Windows Vista (Service Pack 2)
Windows Vista (Service Pack 1)
Windows Vista
Windows Server 2008 (Service Pack 1)
Windows Server 2003 (Service Pack 1)
Windows XP (Service Pack 3)
Windows XP (Service Pack 2)
Windows 2000
Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 5)
Windows 98 /Windows ME
Windows 95

Any of these can be chosen by right clicking the program that isn't working properly; then in the drop down menu go to 'Properties'. Under the new windows that opens go to the 'Compatibility' tab and check off 'Run this program in compatibility mode for:' and choose 'Windows XP (Service Pack 3)'.

Sometimes a certain legacy program might not running exactly right because it's asking to be at an admin level (which Vista and 7 restrict to protect you, and for good reason), in that case under the same 'Compatibility' tab you can check of the box that says 'Run this program as an administrator'.

Even though it's great that these features exist and it's good to know how to access them, for the majority of programs you won't have a problem running them, and if you do, Windows 7 will generally automatically ask you if you want to run it in a compatibility mode/reinstall the program with the correct compatibility.

And yes, there is XP mode (which is not the same as compatibility modes) which virtualizes running Windows XP to give full compatibility, but this really is designed for Small Businesses that have special software written specifically for their company, and will only run in an XP environment. XP mode is not designed for consumers and not needed by consumers either. It's unfortunate that consumers hearing about XP mode think they would need it, but honestly I've never run into a program that didn't run correctly in Vista or Windows 7. Have some programs had to use a compatibility mode? Yes, some have, but that's exactly why it those compatibility modes are there, and after checking off that compatibility box I never had to think or deal with that program again.

So, use the 'Upgrade Advisory' and compatibility tools that Ramarc your first replier linked. They will show you what programs/hardware will work with Windows 7, and any issues that might exist. It's said the Windows 7 is actually more compatible then Vista was with older software, I don't remember where I first read that or the data to back that up, but it's an interesting thing to think about.

Also, on the Windows 7 DVD install disc, there is a great tool called "Easy Transfer" this allows you to migrate your files, settings, and users from your old windows to windows 7. This does not include programs, but once you've completed the migration, a report will appear that will have a list of all the files transferred, and a report on what programs you had installed before, if they have been installed yet, and information the programs and the companies they made them, such as a link to download the program (if applicable). One of my favorite parts besides the software company links, are that it continually checks to see if you've installed these programs, and you can access this report at any time. So for me, I have a lovely list of everything I used to have installed and I can systematically install them at my own pace, I can close the report and open it again at a later date, I can choose possibly not to go back and install a certain program, and if I do want to install a program I won't forget any of them. The 'Easy Transfer' works by copying these files and settings to a USB drive, by network, or by an 'Easy Transfer Cable'. If you are upgrading your current machine to Windows 7 you will have to use a USB drive to save the file and reload them, as the other two options are for moving the file directly to a Windows 7 machine (ie: if you bought a new computer and wanted to move your files and settings from your old computer to your new one). As the name suggest it is really easy, while allowing you choice on what files you want to migrate. If you are moving a lot of files it may take some time to copy and then recopy the files back to Windows 7 but the process is automated and simple to use, so you can leave and come back later.

Overall, there are a lot of ways make the process from moving from older Windows to Windows 7 easy, and let me say, you'll be glad you made the move; Windows 7 is just great.

Good Luck and hope all goes well. Happy

- Collapse -

I am not very computer savvy, but...I have Windows 7 Premium and I used to have Windows XP (which I liked better). I have a photo editing program that I love to use (because it is simple and uncomplicated) but it does not work with my current operating system. I went into the properties and changed the setting but nothing works. If I change back to Windows XP will it affect anything else I have on my computer? Thank you anyone for your help and patience (ahead of time) .

- Collapse -
Program Compatibility in Windows 7

So far, I have had exactly 0 compatibility issues running programs under Windows 7 (64-bit). In fact, I'm evening running Diablo II, which was designed when Windows 2000 was out (way back in the day, I know).

As to the XP Virtualization, yes, there is and I find it works quite well, it will read your CD's (except in some cases where I had it wouldn't read a CD in my DVD-drive). But basically, all there is to it is you start up the VM from your Start Menu > Windows Virtual PC > Virtual Windows XP, install whatever programs you can't get working in Windows 7 and voila.

- Collapse -

Windows 7 does indeed have XP Virtualization, however this is not available in all windows 7 versions and your bios will need to support it.

So not every PC & laptop will support this feature, and it is not exactly the same as running XP. The Virtual really means the operating system runs in your ram - this limits the available ram for the actual XP OS, in most cases just 256meg is available.

So while this will be useful in situations where you have an old program which is only compatible in XP it still is not the same as running in XP.

However windows 7 is actually very good, really what Vista promised and never delivered. I think you will find there is very little that you will use this feature actually for.

- Collapse -
Likely yes

Other than low-level programs such as antivirus and disk utilities, a huge majority of programs you run on XP will run on Vista or Win 7 with no effort. A few will require running as administrator (accomplished with an extra click of the right mouse button,) and very few will need configuration to run as XP compatibility mode.
All of the above are available in Vista. Win 7 should make the advanced configs and 'run as administrator' less necessary on default security settings. The new XP emulation mode you speak of is an advanced feature that only the most stubborn legacy programs will require. The main motivation for this mode is businesses who use custom applications that are very picky about the configurations they run on and very old programs that have no replacement (or the replacement is prohibitively expensive.) As such, the XP emulation mode is only available in the Professional and higher versions of Windows 7. No joy for home edition (both basic and premium,) users.
It's not a big loss, as setting it up will be a headache for your average user, and most likely you won't have a compelling reason to use it anyway.

- Collapse -

Windows 7 is similar to Vista. XP applications that run under Vista or Vista under compatibility mode should work with Windows 7. There is also another alternative.

Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate users can download software from MS that allows XP software to run in a virtual XP window. Unfortunately, this requires CPU's that support on-chip virtualization

- Collapse -
Upgrading to Windows 7

"I've heard about some sort of XP
virtualization program on Windows 7 that will allow me to run
XP programs. Is this true?"

Yes, it is. But this option avalible in Busyness/pro & Ultimate versions only! It works like a virtual PC: you are runing virtual copy Win. XP under Win. 7 and there you are starting any XP-programs. Read more about this function here:

Also here you can download upgrade adwisor, which will scan your PC and give you some adices about upgrade to Win 7...

- Collapse -
Running older programs on XP...

The answer is - it depends. I've been testing Windows 7 and many of my apps and the good news - there's only one that doesn't seem to want to run - and that's an installer that insists on being locked into Windows XP. The app, when copied from another system, works fine.

Beyond that... I'm running some rather ancient software - circa 1999 and 2000 - and it runs mostly as expected. Some things - like setting preferences - the apps need to be run as Administrator - and once that's done, they can be run as a normal user. I've even got a really ancient 16 bit game - Castle of the Winds - running under Windows 7 without any problems - it even runs better than it did on XP. It was originally written to work with Windows 3.1.

Your best bet would be to download the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor which can be found here:

It will tell you what apps will work properly, what might have some issues and what won't. It'll also tell you about your hardware - what you've got that's ready to go and what needs an upgrade.

The XP Mode software is - as the description says - a fully licensed virtual instance of Windows XP Pro. It's only available in Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate/Enterprise (which are pretty much the same thing, except for the license).

Before you get too excited about it, however, XP Mode is a very limited utility. It's NOT designed to be running your games and such. It's designed to run custom business apps that will NOT work under Windows 7 under any circumstances. It also has some specific system requirements.

Your CPU and your motherboard both must support hardware virtualization. If you've got an Intel chip, your motherboard must support hardware virtualization and it must be activated in the motherboard's BIOS. Not all Intel chips support it. Check your manuals and documentation.

AMD CPUs with an AM2 or later socket mostly support it. No AMD chips with socket 939 or older support hardware virtualization. The motherboards for AM2 and later CPUs all automatically support HW Virtualization natively - it's not controlled by the BIOS.

As such, XP Mode is not a panacea for all issues - but it does help out with those situations that have no other solution.

- Collapse -
Running programs in Windows7

I have been running Windows7 for quite a long time now, first the Beta version and now the Release Candidate. I have installed all of the software I had, including Dreamweaver8, Microsoft Office 2000!, Nero, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, ITunes and they all run perfectly well. I also have a couple of "cheapy" word games I've downloaded in the past and they all work perfectly well. Windows7 can spot if a program needs to be run in a different version of Windows and if necessary it makes adjustments itself.

CNET Forums