Call it the zombie operating system. Microsoft has revealed that the new release candidate for Windows 7 will include an optional download to run a Windows XP virtual machine from the new operating system. Apparently, Microsoft has figured out that people are still very happy with the XP system despite its flaws. And they are even happier with the software that XP can run.
The Windows 7 Release Candidate leaked earlier today contains a lot of minor tweaks to previous beta versions of the new operating system, but Microsoft says that it also has a couple of new features: A Windows 7 PC will now be able to stream media from your home to any Internet-connected Windows 7 PC, and for the first time the OS supports (via an optional download) a virtual Windows XP environment for running legacy Windows XP apps.
That’s good news for folks who have a lot of XP compatible software. As I do. Some of my software runs on W7, some does not. Most of my XP stuff does not run on Vista at all – one reason I never switched over. This will boost acceptance of W7 right off the mark.
The bad news: The release candidate will not include some of the things I found most useful in the beta version – no more audio support for Bluetooth, for example. I’m currently running two machines with W7 beta – one is being tortured by my youngest boy who is gaming up a storm on the system he is using. W7 seems rock solid running games so far. The machine I am actually using has some issues with W7 and has had a few incidents of unusual lockups/malfunctions doing routine stuff.
When the beta licenses expire, I’ll probably put both of these machines back to their regular XP licenses (still installed on their original hard drives – the beta versions were installed on spare drives). Close to bleeding edge when I built these boxes four years ago, they have insufficient resources to really run W7 as well as it can be.
Oh darn. Now I’ll have to build a new box. (Hope the wife doesn’t read this!)